Radisson Blu placed on the ASA naughty step
If the ASA find that you continually do not comply with UK Advertising Code they get in touch to let you know where you are failing and this should give you adequate time to put right those wrongs.
If you continue to make various claims within your advertising and choose to ignore the ASA, you get added to their list of "Non-compliant online advertisers". That is exactly what has happened to Radisson Blu, the upscale brand of the worldwide Radisson hotel chain.
The ASA found that Radisson Blu were misleading customers looking to book hotel rooms by quoting prices exclusive of VAT on its website. This is in breach of CAP (Committee of Advertising Practices) requirement that VAT exclusive prices can be only be given if every person receiving this price quote is not required to pay VAT or be able to recover it.
CAP say that they have contacted Radisson Blu on numerous occasions yet they still have not amended their website to comply with this requirement. We found it strange that such a high profile company like Radisson Blu would want to remain on a list of businesses having such a sheer disregard for advertising standards so we contacted the ASA to ask what efforts Radisson Blu have made:
A period of grace is granted, in this case 3 months, to advertisers to give them time to amend their advertising.
We then follow-up this communication after the grace period has ended, contacting advertisers who are not complying.
We then give another warning, requesting assurances from an advertiser that they will comply otherwise we will apply sanctions.
If assurances are not received we apply sanctions – Radisson Blu Edwardian were added to our list of non-compliant online advertisers.
I should mention that we are in discussions with Radisson Blu Edwardian and are hopeful that they will begin complying soon. If they do, we will remove them from the wall entry.
So it seems that Radisson Blu are on their way to being allowed off the naughty step but we do find it strange that they have had more than 4 months to amend their systems which, considering all other hotels are complying, seems to be long enough.
Just a quick glance at the other businesses on the ASA list tell you that this isn't a place that such a reputable business would want to be appearing.