New Decisions: Electricity advertising, website accuracy and more

The following decisions have been published:

Limits to amount of information covered in TV ads acknowledged

The Flick Electric Co television advertisement showed a woman with a lightbulb over her head slowly changing her expression to one of outrage as the voiceover states “This is the very moment Audrey understood that more than 20,000 Kiwis were paying the actual wholesale price of their power, but she was still paying whatever fixed price her company felt like.” The advertisement ends with the wording ‘Pay the real wholesale price of power – Flick Electric Co – New Zealand’s fairest power deal… Are you getting it yet?”

The Complainant’s concern was the advertisement did not adequately advise potential customers of the risk factors associated with the wholesale electricity contract on offer.

The Advertiser said the advertisement was intended as an introduction to the brand. Customers were given comprehensive information about the benefits and risks of the wholesale electricity market during the sign-up process and on an ongoing basis.

The Complaints Board accepted the advertisement was an introduction to the product and said the Advertiser was not required to highlight all aspects of the product within the limited timeframe of a television advertisement. The Complaints Board accepted there was sufficient information provided to potential consumers throughout the sign-up process to ensure they were adequately informed about the benefits and risks of the product. Accordingly, the Complaints Board ruled the complaint was Not Upheld.

Website changed to reflect restrictions on use

The website advertisement for Bumper Ball, www.bumperball.co.nz, shows the giant plastic balls encasing people being used in a range of locations including several images and video footage of customers playing with the balls on the beach. The Contact Us page stated “Bumper Ball operates throughout many NZ locations meaning we can bring the fun and excitement of Bumper Ball to your neck of the woods. We’ve run games sport events and contests NZ-wide; in places like schools, parks, sports arenas, corporate settings and even the beach!”

The Complainant claimed the advertisement was misleading because it implied the product was suitable for use on the beach. When the Complainant attempted to book they were told a beach location was not a suitable venue.

The Advertiser explained that some venues may not be suitable and detailed amendments it had made to the advertisement to further assist customers to understand where Bumper Balls can be used.

The Complaints Board agreed that given the Advertiser’s co-operative engagement with the process and the self-regulatory action taken in amending the website, the advertisement now alerted the consumer to potential location limitations. Accordingly, the Complaints Board ruled that in relation to the Code of Ethicsthe complaint was settled.

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