Feeds

ASA upholds a brace of ads gripes against Groupon

German wing of biz blamed for cockup

Top three mobile application threats

The Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) has admonished Groupon for misleading web surfers about online sales promotions.

In two separate rulings, the ASA upheld complaints brought against the privately-held e-commerce coupons website about various banner and Google-sponsored search ads.

The promotions included promises of steep discounts on train tickets, meals and flowers.

"We considered that consumers would understand those offers to be genuine and available to subscribers of the Groupon scheme," said the ASA.

"We noted that Groupon did not provide evidence that the offers were available or that they had been taken up by consumers. Because we had not seen any such evidence, we concluded that the ads were misleading."

Groupon blamed the creation of the banner ads on its German operation and said that it knew nothing of the misleading promotions until the ASA told the company about the complaints.

Despite the cockup, Groupon said that the responsibility of approving the sponsored search ads would remain in Germany.

It said the UK division of the company would train its German colleagues in the requirements of the CAP (Committee of Advertising Practice) Code "so that they could apply the relevant rules when creating future campaigns," said the ASA.

Groupon added that it recognised a need "to approve such banner ads to ensure that the content was relevant".

The ASA said that Groupon must cease advertising sales promotions if the firm was unable to demonstrate that they were genuine.

It told the company, which recently walked away from a $6bn takeover bid from Google, that the ads must not appear again in their current form.

This isn't the first time Groupon has copped a negative ruling from the ASA. In January this year the company promised not to republish adverts judged by the ASA to be misleading.

On that occasion, Groupon blamed its exponential growth that led to the rapid hiring of hundreds of new staff, and said the ads in question were written by new starters.

Today's separate rulings by the ASA are available here and here. ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

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.