Feeds

ASA upholds a brace of ads gripes against Groupon

German wing of biz blamed for cockup

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

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. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
I'll be back (and forward): Hollywood's time travel tribulations
Quick, call the Time Cops to sort out this paradox!
Megaupload overlord Kim Dotcom: The US HAS RADICALISED ME!
Now my lawyers have bailed 'cos I'm 'OFFICIALLY' BROKE
MI6 oversight report on Lee Rigby murder: US web giants offer 'safe haven for TERRORISM'
PM urged to 'prioritise issue' after Facebook hindsight find
BT said to have pulled patent-infringing boxes from DSL network
Take your license demand and stick it in your ASSIA
Right to be forgotten should apply to Google.com too: EU
And hey - no need to tell the website you've de-listed. That'll make it easier ...
Assange™ slumps back on Ecuador's sofa after detention appeal binned
Swedish court rules there's 'great risk' WikiLeaker will dodge prosecution
prev story

Whitepapers

Go beyond APM with real-time IT operations analytics
How IT operations teams can harness the wealth of wire data already flowing through their environment for real-time operational intelligence.
5 critical considerations for enterprise cloud backup
Key considerations when evaluating cloud backup solutions to ensure adequate protection security and availability of enterprise data.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Simplify SSL certificate management across the enterprise
Simple steps to take control of SSL across the enterprise, and recommendations for a management platform for full visibility and single-point of control for these Certificates.