Complaint upheld against Lidl over competition for 'year’s free shopping'

The advertising watchdog has upheld a complaint against supermarket chain Lidl for failing to identify the winners of a “year’s free shopping”, writes Joe Leogue.

The Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland upheld seven of the eight complaints it recently investigated, including one from a member of the public who said Lidl never announced the winners of a draw for a year’s worth of shopping, and did not provide the complainant with the winners’ identities on request.

As well as upholding the complaint, the ASAI expressed concern there had been no observer independent of the company present at the draw.

A complaint against the Full Body Workhouse Gym, which offered a “six-week free weight loss challenge” on Facebook was also upheld. When visiting the gym, the complaint was advised she would have to pay €499 to avail of the challenge and lose 4lb a week for the six weeks.

It was on reaching this target that her money would be refunded. The ASAI ruled it was a ‘money-back’ offer dependent on achieving a goal, rather than an unconditional ‘free’ offer, which was not clear from the advertising, was likely to mislead, and was therefore in breach of its code.

It also upheld a complaint about a UK Direct Shop brochure in which unsubstantiated claims were made about the benefits of reflexology and Bio-Reflex Soles. It also upheld a complaint about the use of stock photographs in testimonial case studies in the brochure “as evidence had not been received to demonstrate that the testimonials were real”.

Complaints were also upheld against Sky Ireland, GroupOn, Cartrawler, and Lloyd Daly & Associates.

- Irish Examiner

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