Groupon's pants 'Weight Loss HOTPANTS' ad banned
Watchdog sweats over site's track record
Groupon has got into fresh trouble with the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA), this time over pants.
Today's ruling on a Groupon advert for "Weight Loss HOTPANTS" is the latest in a string of recent advertising complaints upheld against the coupon-pushers – they most recently had problems pushing snake oil and boob jobs – that saw the agency finally refer Groupon to the Office of Fair Trading at the end of last year. "Given Groupon’s track record, we have serious concerns about its ability to adhere to the Advertising Code," the agency stated.
In today's ruling on the email ad for pants from last October, the ASA declared that Groupon's claims for the pants gave the misleading impression that they could help you lose weight. The advert for "Weight Loss HOTPANTS" claimed:
Using Celu-Lite™ technology, these magnificently comfy HOTPANTS™ are designed to aid clients in their transformation into a smaller Russian doll self, in conjunction with a healthy diet and lifestyle. The nifty shorts have been created to take advantage of the body's natural heat to increase the warmth around the thighs, which then boosts the level of perspiration to help maximise workouts.
Groupon stood by its claim that the pants caused heat and perspiration during exercise but the ASA considered that the use of the term Celu-Lite implied that the product was capable of reducing cellulite. In the absence of any evidence that the pants removed cellulite, the ASA slammed the website for misleading advertising, failing to substantiate its claims and contravening guidelines on advertising weight loss products.
The regulatory body has banned the advert from appearing again in its current form. ®
Underpants gnomes finally worked it out, then!
1) Steal underpants
2) Sell on groupon
There is a procedure for pre-vetting adverts. FCUK* got put on the naughty step, because they kept breaking the code, and so had to have all their adverts approved, before they were allowed to put them out. I don't know if are any extra penalties other than that.
*Personally I think FCUK ought to have been fined for their inability to spell...
These 'punishments' need to change
It's time that they had the power to be able to dish slightly more appropriate punishments along the lines of:
"The ASA ruled that Groupon be banned from carrying out any form of advertising in mainstream media for 12 months, followed by a 12 month supervision period where all new marketing material must be vetted by the ASA before release and any expenses for carrying out this must be paid for by Groupon. The ASA also started the initial proceedings for a class action on behalf of any customers purchasing a product during this period based on the misleading claims"
And double those penalties for anyone making claims backed up by fraudulent 'science'. Until repurcussions of this sort become viable, those marketing types will never learn.