Feeds

ASA slams 'misleading' eBay ad

Testy bargain-hunter unable to find specified tat

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications

eBay has been rapped over the knuckles by the UK advertising industry regulator for a misleading web ad.

The ad, which ran on various websites for two weeks in early December, suggested that top-line coffee machines could be purchased on eBay for less than £100, designer chairs for £50 and Le Creuset pots for under £80.

An irate customer, unable to find any of these things at the prices stated, complained to the Advertising Standards Authority and had his/her grievance upheld.

The ASA noted that "we considered that the vast majority of consumers were likely to understand the nature of the eBay website", suggesting that the anonymous complainant perhaps – in its opinion – had failed to do so.

Nonetheless, the ASA said "all the items depicted in the ad should have been available for the whole time the ad appeared, and as soon as the items were no longer available the ad should have been withdrawn".

This could, on the face of it, open the floodgates for an avalanche of complaints, especially if other media are to be held to the same standard the ASA has seemingly set for online ads. Assuming that the authority sticks to precedent, this could raise the spectre of budget airlines being required to pull posters from Tube stations every time a flight sold out, or magazine print runs having to be pulped and reprinted at an advertiser's expense.

However, the judgment involves no visible penalty and eBay merely received a wrist slap. A representative commented that "we have duly noted the ASA's ruling". So that's all right then. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple ran off to IBM
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Nadella: Apps must run on ALL WINDOWS – PCs, slabs and mobes
Phone egg, meet desktop chicken - your mother
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
Samsung threatens to cut ties with supplier over child labour allegations
Vows to uphold 'zero tolerance' policy on underage workers
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.