International Regulatory Action on Samsung Electronics (UK) Ltd

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Ad description

An offers page on www.samsung.com, seen on 2 March 2017, contained a cashback promotion. The page stated “Love your kitchen. Love Samsung. Up to £300 cashback”. Smaller text stated “Valid from Feb 01.2017 to Apr 04.2017”. Below the text, an icon stated “SEE DETAILS”.

Issue

BSH Home Appliance, who understood that only two of 84 products in the promotion qualified for cashback of £300, challenged whether the ad was misleading.

Response

Samsung Electronics (UK) Ltd said that where space allowed, all marketing materials listed out the full products and specific amounts of cashback that could be claimed. They said that the promotion was not misleading because it contained a link to the page which provided a full list of the products in the offer and the amounts of cashback which could be claimed. They said that it was clear to consumers that depending on the product purchased, up to £300 could be claimed from Samsung.

Samsung said that where marketing communications referred to specific products and where products were listed by retailer, the specific amount of cashback that could be claimed was shown. They said that marketing materials stated the amount of cashback that could be claimed in respect to each product unless there was no space to show it. They said that retailers had leaflets in-store that listed the amounts of cashback available next to each product, and online, retailers referred to the specific amounts of cashback available next to the description of products.

Samsung said that they did not believe that rule 3.22 of the CAP Code (which stated that price claims such as “up to” and “from” must not exaggerate the availability or amount of benefits likely to be obtained by the consumer) was applicable in this instance because it applied to the “price” of products rather than promotions where consumers claimed a reward from a manufacturer. They said that the “prices” definition of section 3 of the CAP Code made clear that the section only applied to the price of the product and not to promotions.

Samsung said that the promotion did not exaggerate the amount of reward that could be claimed because there was no limit on the number of consumers who could purchase those qualifying products.

Samsung said that no consumers had complained about the promotion and that only a competitor of Samsung had done so.

Assessment

The ASA noted that the headline claim on the page stated “Up to £300 cashback”. We considered that consumers would interpret the claim to mean that a significant proportion of the range of products that were included in the promotion would qualify for the cashback amount of £300.

We noted Samsung’s argument that rule 3.22 of the CAP Code should not apply to the cashback promotion. However, we considered that the rule equally applied to promotions from retailers and manufacturers.

We understood from the terms and conditions that there were 84 products which were included in the promotion. Of those 84 products, two qualified for the cashback amount of £300 and the remaining majority qualified for cashback amounts of £100 or less. While we acknowledged the presence of the “See details” link which led to the full list of products available in the promotion, we considered that two products did not constitute a significant proportion of the products in the promotion. We therefore concluded that the ad was misleading.

The ad breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 3.1 (Misleading advertising), and 3.22 (Prices).

Action
The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told Samsung Electronics (UK) Ltd to ensure that they did not exaggerate the savings available when making “”up to” claims.

via: ASA

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