Prettylittlething warned by watchdog over Black Friday ad campaign

Lucy Watson models for PrettyLittleThing

The Prettylittlething fashion brand, owned by Manchester-based online retailer, boohoo, has been criticised by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) following a complaint about 15 tweets it made during the Black Friday trading period in November last year.

The ASA challenged whether some ads misleadingly implied that the promotions applied to all products sold by PrettyLittleThing, the absence of closing dates from ads, and the inclusion of closing dates from ads when promotional periods were shortened or extended, breached the code, and the ads misleadingly implied that further discounts would not be available when the promotion ended.

In response, PrettyLittleThing said the Black Friday period had become well known to consumers in the UK as a period when businesses offered promotions.

It said its customers were value-oriented and the advertising and marketing was reflective of what customers wanted and expected.

The company also said it always tried to include significant conditions to promotions in ads, but sometimes space was limited.

It included information such as end dates and an asterisk with qualifying information where possible. Detailed further terms and conditions were on the website, which customers could review ahead of any purchase.

The ASA ruled that the ads must not appear again in the form investigated.

It said: “We told Ltd t/a PrettyLittleThing to ensure their ads did not state or imply that a promotion included all product lines they sold, including by stating that a promotion related to ‘everything’ or ‘every single thing’, if that was not the case.

“We also told them to ensure that ads which did make clear that not all product lines were included in a promotion did not imply that product lines across all product types were included, if that was not the case. They must ensure that ads stated significant conditions to promotions, and that qualifications were presented clearly.

“We told them to ensure their ads did not mislead as to the closing date/time of promotions, or imply that discount offers were time-limited or would not be repeated if that was not the case.

“They must include closing dates/times of promotions in ads unless they could demonstrate their absence would not disadvantage consumers, and must not change promotion closing dates unless unavoidable circumstances outside their control made it necessary. We told them to ensure they conducted their promotions equitably and dealt fairly and honourably with participants and potential participants.”