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  1. #1
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    Default ASA ruling

    ASA Adjudication on Rocks and Co Productions Ltd
    Rocks and Co Productions Ltd t/a Rocks & Co.
    Unit 2000
    Regis Road
    London
    NW5 3EW
    Date: 8 January 2014
    Media: Television
    Sector: Retail
    Number of complaints: 1
    Complaint Ref: A13-242391
    Ad
    A teleshopping ad broadcast on Rocks & Co on 1 September 2013 depicted a reverse auction for a Nigerian Aquamarine and Zircon gold ring. On-screen text stated "LAST 10 NOW AT 1,914 P+P 4.95". The price was then dropped to 129. Scrolling text at the foot of the screen stated "The initial 'Now At' price does not indicate a worth or a value and is randomly generated".

    Issue
    A viewer challenged whether the claim "LAST 10 NOW AT 1,914 P+P 4.95" was misleading and could be substantiated, because they believed that it exaggerated the value of the ring.

    BCAP Code
    3.13.183.43.9
    Response
    Rocks and Co Productions Ltd t/a Rocks & Co. said the start price was completely randomly generated and had no reference to the value of the product or the final price that they closed at. They stated that, in response to queries regarding the start price, they had recently introduced a graphic at the beginning of every auction that stated "The initial 'Now At' price does not indicate a worth or a value and is randomly generated". They believed that statement clearly communicated that the price did not relate to any other retail prices or the product's value. They said they also ensured that the presenters reiterated that the start price did not indicate a value or worth, in order to make the process and format clear to the viewers. They believed that their viewers understood that when they "crashed" the price, the revised price shown was what they aimed to sell the piece for.

    They stated that, because they were a falling auction shopping channel, they had to start somewhere in terms of price and therefore decided to make that "random" so as not to imply any connection between the product on screen and its retail value. They said they never wanted to imply a retail price or a valuation price as that was very debatable in their industry, as gemstone jewellery was priced and valued at hugely different prices depending on many factors, including the quality, retailer, design, availability and fashion. They said they would therefore be reluctant to introduce a start price that was supposed to be related to the value of the product as they considered that would be open to interpretation and would be misleading. They said they never committed to a product being "worth" a certain amount, even when they had valuations on a certain piece of jewellery. They said they used that as a reference for their product quality, not as an implied value for the product they were selling.

    They provided an independent valuation of the ring and considered that showed the extent of the saving they offered.

    Assessment
    Upheld

    The ASA noted that the initial price claim stated "LAST 10 NOW AT 1,914 P+P 4.95" and considered that implied that 1,914 was an amount at which Rocks & Co. expected to sell the ring. We therefore considered that viewers were likely to understand that price to be materially related to the usual retail price or a valuation that consumers could expect for the ring.

    We noted that the starting price was randomly generated and that on-screen text stated "The initial 'Now At' price does not indicate a worth or a value and is randomly generated". However, we considered that text contradicted, rather than clarified, the initial price claim. Although Rocks & Co. had stated that their presenters reiterated that the start price did not indicate a value or worth, we noted that the presenters in the ad did not do so. However, we considered that such an explanation by the presenters would also have been contradictory to the original price claim.

    We noted that the valuation provided by Rocks & Co. valued the ring at 1,300, which was the equivalent to roughly 1,100 and was therefore significantly less than the initial price claim. Because we considered that consumers were likely to understand the starting price to be an amount directly related to the usual retail price or genuine value of the ring, and because Rocks & Co. had not demonstrated that that was the case, we concluded that the ad exaggerated the value of the ring and was misleading.

    The ad breached the BCAP Code rules 3.1 and 3.4 (Misleading advertising), 3.9 (Substantiation) and 3.18 (Prices).



         

    Action
    The ad must not be broadcast again in its current form. We told Rocks & Co Productions Ltd to only use prices that they could substantiate related to the genuine retail price or value of the product being advertised.

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  • #2
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    Seems this mob are slipping just like Bid/Price Drop tv. Are they connected? Be aware folks.

  • #3
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    If the start prices in these falling price sales are not in any way supposed to be indicative of a true value then you have to wonder why they use them.

    But I think we know the answer to that question!
    Likes PJ. liked this post
     

  • #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wirral70 View Post
    If the start prices in these falling price sales are not in any way supposed to be indicative of a true value then you have to wonder why they use them.

    But I think we know the answer to that question!
    This has set a real presedent! I think the consequences of this are massive!

  • #5
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    Rocks and co have no relations with situp ltd as far i'm aware. And they say (presenters/gem hunters) these are the last few gemstones we have then they bring out another 30 of them, like russian emeralds.

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