ASA finds ad misleading because non-optional currency conversion fee was excluded from quoted prices.

Online games site featured a promotional offer on the homepage and the best scores for competitions that the complainant had entered.  Text stated “3 day trial for just £1.00”.  Under the complainant’s “My Competitions” tab was an image of a smartphone with text that stated, “iPhone 6 Plus … BEST TIME: 00m 06s 798ms”.  Below this was an image of a tablet with text that stated, “iPad mini … BEST TIME: 00M 10s 748ms”.

The complainant, who registered for the trial and was charged £1.04, challenged whether the quoted price was misleading and whether the best times could be substantiated.

The ASA noted that the complainant was charged £1.04 because charged consumers in Euros.   It noted that its terms and conditions disclosed that a currency conversion fee by the bank might apply but found that, because the ad marketed the offer in sterling, suggesting that no such conversion fee applied, and because had no control over the conversion fee (varying across different banks) it breached CAP Code rules 3.1 and 3.3 (Misleading Advertising), 3.9 (Qualification) and 3.17 and 3.19 (Prices).

Furthermore, because did not provide documentary evidence showing that the “BEST TIME” scores quoted were genuine, the ASA concluded that they had not been substantiated and were misleading.  In addition to breaching CAP Code rule 3.1, the ad breached rules 3.7 (Substantiation) and 8.1 and 8.2 (Sales Promotions).  To read ASA Ruling on Bitgans Ltd (2 March 2016), click here.