ASA Adjudication on Bauer Consumer Media Ltd
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd t/a
1 Lincoln Court
19 September 2012
Internet (sales promotion)
Number of complaints:
Summary of Council decision:
Two issues were investigated, both were Upheld.
A competition on www.moremagazine.co.uk which ran from 1 to 20 May 2012 was titled "WIN! Snow White and The Huntsman premiere tickets". Text stated "... there's a pair up for grabs - could it be you on the red carpet?!". Text in the body of the page stated "... one lucky winner and a mate will get the chance to see all three stars on the big screen at the world premiere of the film in London's Leicester Square! The red-carpet event takes place on May 14. You'll get return travel paid for and you'll be put up in the 5-star MayFair Hotel. Amaze!". Entries could be made by answering a multiple-choice question on that web page.
The complainant challenged whether:
1. the promotion was misleading and breached the Code, because she was told she had won a different competition with fewer prizes, which she did not believe she had entered; and
2. the promotion had been properly administered, because the name of the winner of the first competition was not made available to the complainant on request.
CAP Code (Edition 12)
1. Bauer Consumer Media Ltd, trading as More! magazine (More! magazine), stated that they had run two competitions for tickets to the premiere of Snow White and the Huntsman. The first one had been featured both in their magazine and online and included the premiere tickets, travel and accommodation as prizes, whereas the other had been run online only and did not include any travel or accommodation. More! magazine said the complainant had entered and won the second competition and collected her tickets from their London office shortly before the premiere took place. They submitted screenshots of the terms and conditions for each promotion taken from their systems to demonstrate that the prizes on offer were different.
2. More! magazine stated that they had not been aware of the requirement to disclose the names of competition winners when asked.
The ASA understood that More! magazine had been running two similar competitions at the same time. We acknowledged that those competitions appeared to have different terms and conditions and that travel and accommodation were not included as part of the prize for the online-only promotion. However, we understood that the complainant had thought she was entering the first competition, with all three prizes, and did not believe she had participated in the second one.
We noted that the magazine page for the first competition directed readers to enter through the main competitions page of their website, and that the online-only competition was also shown on that web page. Because we understood that both promotions were live at the same time on the website, and accessible from the same page of the website, we considered that More! magazine should have made clear to consumers that the two promotions were distinct. Although More! magazine had provided screenshots of the two sets of terms and conditions on their internal systems, they did not demonstrate how the main competitions’ page of the website would have displayed the two promotions and whether they were clearly distinct. Furthermore, More! magazine did not submit any evidence to substantiate their claim that the complainant had entered the second competition, for which the only prize was tickets for the premiere. Because we were not satisfied that it would have been sufficiently clear to visitors to the website which promotion they were entering, and because we had not received evidence to show which of the competitions the complainant had entered, we concluded that the promotion was misleading and breached the Code.
On that point, the promotion breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 3.1 (Misleading advertising), 3.7 (Substantiation) and 8.2 (Sales promotions).
We noted that the CAP Code required promoters to publish or make available on request the name and county of major prizewinners and, if applicable, their winning entries. Because More! magazine had declined to disclose the name of the person who had won the travel, accommodation and tickets to the premiere upon the complainant's request, we concluded that the promotion had not been properly administered.
On that point, the promotion breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rule 8.28.5 (Prize promotions).
The promotion must not be run again in its current form. We told More! magazine to ensure that the prizes they offered were clear, and to publish or name the relevant information on the winners of competitions on request in future.