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ASA finds Argos ad 'misleading'

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Multichannel retailer Argos’ 'Walrus' ad has been banned in its current form by the Advertising Standards Authority on the grounds that it was misleading when it described the delivery options the retailer offers as "a time slot that's right for you".

Three viewers complained that the ad was misleading and the ASA agreed, in a ruling published today.

The ad, showing two penguins making a delivery to a walrus, included a voiceover that stated: "With over 1,500 lorries we can deliver what you want at a time slot that's right for you." Written text in the ad went on to say: "terms, delivery charges and exclusions apply. Excludes jewellery."

Argos told the ASA that it offered its customers morning or afternoon deliveries, while customers ordering bulky items had a choice of three slots. Customers were notified of the actual two-hour delivery slot the previous day and the delivery driver would also call an hour before the product arrived.

But the ASA said in its adjudication: "The ASA noted that Argos provided a number of delivery options to customers, dependent on the items being delivered. We understood that Argos would tell customers whether the delivery would be in the morning or afternoon and in the case of larger items, Argos chose a specific two-hour time period within their three delivery slots.

"However, we considered the claim 'we can deliver when you want at a time slot thats right for you' implied that customers could specify a delivery time of their choosing, which was at their convenience, and therefore that they had a wide degree of choice about when their goods would be delivered. Because we understood that was not the case, we concluded that the ad was misleading."

The ASA ruled the ad must not be broadcast again in its current form.

In a statement, Argos said today: "We are aware of the recent ruling by the Advertising Standards Authority and we have agreed not to broadcast the ad again in its current form.

"It was not our intention for the ad to mislead anybody about various time slots we have available for delivery and we are sorry if any of our customers were confused by our message."

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