Virgin Wines rapped over ‘misleading’ back-to-back promotion

Online wine retailer Virgin Wine has been rapped by the advertising watchdog for misleading customers by effectively extending a wine promotion it offered.

Virgin WinesThe ASA ruled that two separate emails offering a £10 discount on a case of wine send to customers on two consecutive days in April mislead consumers by making them think the original offer was being extended, even though the mechanics of the second deal was different.

Under the UK advertising codes, retailers are prohibited from changing or extending promotional closing dates to prevent those who participated under the original terms being disadvantaged.

Defending itself, Virgin Wine said the two emails referred to two completely separate promotions – one the culmination of a week-long promo campaign for its Wine Bank in which customers automatically received a £10 discount on a case of 12 bottles, the second a one-day only £10 discount that had to be redeemed before being applied, however the ASA ruled that despite the different mechanics, the similarities were such that consumers would understand this as an extension of the original deal.

“Because the closing date was extended, consumers who had hurried to take advantage of the offer before the original end date could have taken more time to decide whether or not to participate, and were therefore disadvantaged as a result,” it said.

It concluded that in future, the retailer should not extend the closing date of a promotion by continuing to offer the same discount under the same terms, but through a different redemption mechanic.

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