According to ASA, the complainant, who understood that the products described as "Antique French" were new and had not been manufactured in France, challenged that the claim was misleading.
While Homes Direct 365 Ltd responded that its terms and conditions stated that the items were antique reproductions and copied from French antique designs, and that a number of other companies used similar phrasing when describing their products, the complaint was upheld by ASA, which responded:
"The ASA noted Home Direct’s assertion that information regarding the fact the products were neither antique nor manufactured in France appeared in the site's terms and conditions. We considered, however, that that was material information that could influence a consumer's decision as to whether or not to purchase the items, and so should have appeared in a more prominent position.
"We noted that each individual product page included text such as "... completed in a stunning antique white finish to give that Shabby Chic look" and "As one of our most popular ranges the La Rochelle collection ...", and considered that once they had navigated to those pages, consumers would, in all likelihood, understand that the goods were new, not antique, and presume that they were French-style, as opposed to manufactured in France.
"Nonetheless, we considered that prior to viewing the individual product pages, consumers could mistakenly believe that the products were manufactured in France and that they were antiques. Because it was not made immediately clear that the products were "French Antique" style, we concluded that the ad was misleading."
The claim will no longer be allowed to appear in its current form.