A series of Homebase ads have been banned by the ASA for misleading customers by exaggerating the savings that could be received.
Rival DIY store B&Q made the complaint about the 16 ads, stating the promotions were misleading because they failed to make clear when the higher referenced prices for the kitchens were charged and because different promotions ran consecutively without the normal prices being re-established.
The ASA said: “The 83-day sale period was significantly longer than the 28-day period over which the higher reference price for the kitchen units had been in place, and we therefore considered that during that time, the "60 per cent off" sale prices had become the normal prices for the products when the ads were seen.
“Because of that, we considered that the ads implied that the pre-60 per cent selling price was the normal price at which the products were sold, but because that was not the case, and because the ad did not make clear the duration over which the reference price was established, we considered ads (a−m) were likely to mislead consumers into believing that greater savings were available than was actually the case.”
The ASA told Homebase to ensure that savings claims were made against normal product prices and that savings claims were not exaggerated.