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ASA Adjudication on Genting (Park Lane Mews Hotel) Ltd

Genting (Park Lane Mews Hotel) Ltd t/a Park Lane Mews Hotel

Genting Club Star City
Watson Road
Birmingham
B7 5SA

Date:

29 January 2014

Media:

Internet (sales promotion)

Sector:

Holidays and travel

Number of complaints:

1

Agency:

Focus Integrated Marketing Communications

Complaint Ref:

A13-240941

Ad

An offer seen on a hotel booking website for the Park Lane Mews Hotel stated "Standard Double Room sleeps 2".  The price £325.00 was crossed out and the offer price of £184.00 appeared in bold orange.

Issue

The complainant challenged whether the saving claim was misleading and could be substantiated.

CAP Code (Edition 12)

Response

Genting (Park Lane Mews Hotel) Ltd t/a Park Lane Mews Hotel said, like many UK hotels, they had a 'rack rate' price which was the rate payable for a room by a 'walk-in' customer without a prior booking and before any discounts or promotional pricing was applied.  They said discounts to the rack rate varied according to season, demand and factors such as occupancy, quality and specification of the room, profit margins and seasonal variations. This meant that any discount from the rack rate varied from month to month.  In relation to their prices, Park Lane Mews Hotel provided several booking invoices, which they said supported their rack rate of around £325.

Assessment

Not upheld

The ASA understood that the normal, or rack rate price, of a hotel room was often subject to reductions which meant prices could vary.  We understood those reductions were managed by the hotel, rather than the specific third-party booking site where the complainant had seen the advertised prices.  

We understood that on the same day that the complainant viewed the hotel on the third-party booking site, they also viewed the hotel's website and noted that the hotel was offering a room at a similar price to the third-party's discounted price for the same date. They therefore believed that the third-party booking site had inflated the "normal" price of the offer to ensure the savings claim sounded more generous than it was. We noted, however, that there were no claims in the third-party ad which stated or implied that the offer was exclusive, and we therefore considered that the fact the hotel had decided to run their own concurrent discount from their rack rate did not in itself invalidate the savings claim stated in the third-party booking ad.

We acknowledged the invoices provided by Park Lane Mews Hotel which we considered demonstrated that customers had booked rooms at or around the rack rate price.  Those invoices were from the hotel and other third-party booking sites. Because Park Lane Mews Hotel provided evidence that their rack rate price was genuine, we concluded the advertised price was not misleading and had been substantiated.

We investigated the website price under CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 3.1 (Misleading advertising), 3.7 (Substantiation), 3.17 (Prices), and 8.2 (Sales promotions) but did not find it in breach.

Action

No further action necessary.

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