Another Wednesday, another round of Decisions from the Advertising Standards Authority Council. Among today's rulings was this one (link below) against a prize promotion run on packs of McCain French Fries.
The ASA ruled that it was misleading as to the likelihood of winning a prize, even though the promotional ts&cs on the packaging said "Winner selected via an algorithm, not all prizes will be won."
Based on McCain's own information, the ASA found that the likelihood of winning one of the 28,515 prizes using one of the 53,317,540 available promotional codes was 0.05%, and that of the 28,515 prizes, only 159 (approximately 0.56%) had been won.
The prominent featuring of a number of high-value prizes (cars, spa retreats, etc.) without any indication of the low chances of success appears to have been enough to see the complaint upheld. The overall impression significantly exaggerated the chances of winning.
The ASA's Decision does however keep the door open to promotions in which not all prizes will be won. But advertisers will be required to communicate the chances of winning, especially when they are so small.
In the IP & Media team at Freeths we work with marketing teams and agencies every day, helping them to get their advertising right. From prize promotions to comparative advertising, clearance work to ASA investigations, we cover it all.
The packaging stated that not all available prizes would be won and the winners would be selected via an algorithm, and the terms on the promotion website, to an extent, provided an explanation on the mechanic by which the prizes would be allocated. However, we considered that both the packaging and the terms on the website did not give any indication of the likelihood of consumers winning a prize. Because the likelihood of winning a prize (and therefore the number of prizes that had actually been won) was so extremely low, we considered that the overall impression created by the package significantly exaggerated the likelihood that consumers would win the prizes.