French Connection has had its knuckles rapped by the Advertising Standards Authority for breaching rules on misleading advertising, pricing and price comparisons.
The ASA has upheld a complaint that the chain promoted a dress at a reduced price for longer than it was sold at the original higher price.
French Connection promoted the item as its Spotlight Dress at a reduced price of £120 down from £125.
The chain denied it had misled customers and provided evidence that the dress had been sold at the higher price, but the ASA ruled that it had been sold at £120 for 30 days longer than at full price, making the promotion misleading.
After the complaint was made, the price was further reduced to £60.50, although French Connection claimed that a majority of sales were achieved at £125.
ASA told French Connection that the claim must not appear again and it has been warned to ensure future sales price comparisons are made clear.
Industry best practice guidance on price comparisons from the Department of Business Innovation and Skills, recommends that comparisons are made with the retailer’s own previous price, which should have been available for at least 28 consecutive days and last offered no more than six months ago.
Any lower price should not be available for so long as to become misleading.
The guidelines are not binding for traders but should be taken into account for marketing communications.