A complaint has been made to the Advertising Standards Authority concerning TV and website claims made by DFS last December.
The TV ad, seen on 25th December, stated: "Enjoy our best ever prices in the best ever DFS winter sale. Right now the Nest corner sofa is just £1395 ...". On-screen text stated "£1395 After event £2995" and "Offer ends 6.1.16".
Meanwhile, claims on a sofa product page on www.dfs.co.uk, seen on 27th December, stated "4 Seater Lounger ... Sale Price £799 After Sale Price £899 Save £100 ... After sale price applies from 23/02/2016".
Complaints were lodged that these claims were misleading, and after investigation, these complaints were upheld.
The ASA considered that consumers would understand the claims “Enjoy our best prices in the best ever DFS winter sale” and “sale price” to mean that they would be making a genuine saving against the normal selling prices and, in that context, would expect an after-event claim to be the prices at which the sofas had most recently been sold and to which they would revert at the end of the sale.
In particular, the use of “sale” in both ads created the impression that the sofa prices had dropped from the price charged before the event began, rather than being the current selling price.
DFS were told that the ads must not appear again in their current form, and to ensure that the retailer held evidence to show that its savings claims were genuine.
Read the full case here.