Fireworks at the Daily Express over 'misleading' offer
The Daily Express seemingly struggles to walk the tightrope of authenticity every day, so it shouldn't come as a surprise that it can't even get the reader's offers correct. Specifically, the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) has upheld complaints against the Express six times in the past five months.
After somehow failing to identify the crucial difference between adverts and editorial, the Express went on to run a promotion in October offering free fireworks "when you spend £15 at participating Sainsbury's stores". Brilliant. Well, almost. For starters, the offer wasn't available in Sainsbury's stores in Northern Ireland. Bollocks, said the Express - customers can still use the vouchers, they'll just have to swim to Scotland:
"Express Newspapers told the ASA that it was clear on the front page that the offer was limited to participating stores and it believed the claim was not misleading as every reader was still free to use the voucher at a participating store."
Then there was the fact that readers had to spend their £15 on fireworks in the first place, rather than simply shell out £15 in-store - a fact that wasn't made clear until you turned to page 31 and read the small print.
The ad was found to be in breach of the ASA advertising code, but despite the sixth screw-up in five month the ASA has no punitive powers to impose fines or restrictions, meaning the Express is free to continue increasing their readership by misleading consumers. Not that we suspect our readership of containing a particularly large subset of Express readers - we've got you pegged as the Razzle sort - but just so you know.