This article first appeared in the Financial Times.
Subscribe to the FT. article An advert is an advertisement that has appeared in a newspaper, magazine or TV channel.
The advert shows the same products or services as the advertised product or service.
The product or services have not been advertised and the advertising is likely to mislead the consumer.
The consumer’s expectation is that the advertised products or service are similar to the advertised service.
A common mistake is the consumer is presented with an advertisement for a product that they have not purchased.
The advertisement may not be an advertisement in its original form but it may have a shortened form.
An advertisement may have been created using an automated system that is more accurate than a human adveriser.
This is called a “text-to-speech” system. A text-to‑speech system that allows a human to type the text of an advertisement into a computer can be more accurate.
An advert may have the text “Bartenders are proud to serve the finest and most authentic beer in the world”.
The advert is likely not to be accurate.
It may not contain the name of the pub, or the restaurant, or even the name and address of the restaurant.
The name and number of the bar may have changed.
The bar may also have a different logo or logo type, or may be displayed in a different font size.
It is also possible that the name or bar number may be misattributed.
The advertising is probably misleading.
In some cases, the advertiser may be offering a service or product which is not included in the advertised advert.
For example, an advertisement may say: “Get the best beer in New Zealand at the cheapest prices”.
The advertising does not provide a price or price range, and the advert does not mention a specific brand.
A bar or restaurant may not advertise a service which it does not offer.
For some advertising formats, the bar or establishment may not provide any information about the advertised goods or services.
For these reasons, it is difficult to determine whether an advertisement is misleading.
A person who is concerned about an advertisement should ask: “Is this advertising a true representation of the products or the services advertised?”.
The person should also ask “Is the advertised price accurate?”
If the answer to both questions is “yes”, then the advertisement is likely accurate.
If the person is concerned that an advertisement contains a misleading statement or contains inaccuracies, the person should make a complaint to the advertising regulator.
For more information about consumer protection, go to www.tribunal.govt.nz/consumer/complaints.html.
For a list of complaints about a given advertisement, go the Complaints section of the website.
The Advertising Standards Authority has guidelines for how to respond to complaints about an advertising claim.
For further information, go here.