Asda returns policy advert banned
An advert for Asda's new 100-day returns policy has been banned for presenting the basic consumer right as a bonus of shopping at the supermarket chain, a watchdog has said.
The retailer introduced the policy across its clothing range in March, claiming it wanted to halt the increase of "throwaway" fashion on the high street.
The move came months after rival Marks & Spencer cut its 90-day returns deadline to 35 days, to the anger of customers.
A television advert for the clothing label George at Asda said: "At George, we know what makes a difference; the quality and feel of the fabric, the stylish cut, the stitching, colours that stay colourful, extensive testing and the finer details... and that's why, at George, we now offer a 100-day quality guarantee on all our clothes, so you can enjoy quality that lasts. Yes, that's George, exclusively at Asda."
On-screen text said the offer excluded footwear, jewellery and accessories not made from cloth.
A viewer objected saying the 100-day guarantee was misleading because consumers had more time to return items that were not of an acceptable quality under the Sale of Goods Act.
Defending the advert, Asda said employees were briefed on the difference between a "faulty" list, which detailed defects covered by the Sale of Goods Act, and a "quality" list covered by the 100-day guarantee including fabric bobbling, pulled threads, shrinking, stretching and colour fading.
The guarantee also allowed customers to return clothes within 100 days because they had changed their mind, a point of difference from other retailers, Asda said.
However, the retailer said it regretted any confusion and said it would clarify the extent of the guarantee in future advertising.
The Advertising Standards Authority upheld the complaint, pointing out that legislation allows consumers up to six years to bring an action for breach of contract.