Feeds

ASA upholds a brace of ads gripes against Groupon

German wing of biz blamed for cockup

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

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. ®

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Amazon Reveals One Weird Trick: A Loss On Almost $20bn In Sales
Investors really hate it: Share price plunge as growth SLOWS in key AWS division
Bose says today is F*** With Dre Day: Beats sued in patent battle
Music gear giant seeks some of that sweet, sweet Apple pie
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
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
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.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.