Some might argue that it’s the biggest shopping event of the year, and given the excitement surrounding Black Friday, marketers need to ensure that their ads are clear and transparent about what’s on offer. So, to avoid getting lost in the hustle and bustle, here’s some light reading to help you find your way back to the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) Code.
Advertisers wanting to make savings claims should ensure these claims are genuine and hold evidence demonstrating that consumers would be able to achieve a meaningful saving. The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) concluded that a Black Friday travel promotion broke the CAP Code when the advertiser wasn’t able to evidence that the savings claimed could be achieved. As such, their “20% off” claim was deemed misleading.
As well as savings claims, marketers need to make sure price comparisons are accurate and hold evidence to substantiate the usual selling price of their products. The ASA upheld against an ad when the advertiser made errors with the presentation of their before and after prices. To avoid breaching rules, marketers should ensure price comparisons can be backed up, for example with historical pricing records.
Conditions and exclusions
If conditions and exclusions apply this should be clearly outlined in the ad. T&C’s should also reference which products they refer to. The ASA considered this previously when they decided a Black Friday email ad had broken the Ad Rules, as sufficient information relating to the exclusions was not included in the marketing communication.
Promoters should also ensure they make a reasonable estimate of the expected demand for their Black Friday promotions. One way of doing this could be by assessing the response to a previous promotion for similar products.
As a marketer, you also have additional responsibilities if you’re unable to commit to the demand of your promotional offer. The ASA looked at this issue when they investigated and upheld an ad for breaking the CAP Code concerning the promotional marketing rules on availability. The advertiser was unable to demonstrate that they had made timely communication with consumers, once they realised they were unable to keep up with the supply and demand of their Black Friday promotion.
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