ASA to refer all Groupon complaints to the Office of Fair Trading

The Advertising Standards Authority has today announced that it will be referring complaints that it receives about Groupon’s ads to the Office of Fair Trading (OFT).

The body has said that it is taking this approach to Groupon because it has “serious concerns about its ability to adhere to the Advertising Code”.

In a statement, the ASA said: “It is in the public interest that we refer the matter to the OFT, the OFT being better placed to address any underlying issues concerning Groupon's trading practices generally.”

It has said that it will continue to work closely with the OFT to ensure that consumers are protected.

The ads that will be passed on to the OFT will be those that refer to: failure to conduct promotions fairly, such as not making clear significant terms and conditions; failure to provide evidence that offers are available; and exaggeration of savings claims.

This year, the ASA has upheld 11 complaints made about Groupon’s advertising, with 37 cases informally resolved.