Waterstone's campaign deemed 'misleading' by ASA

Waterstone's campaign deemed 'misleading' by ASA

<p>The Advertising Standards Authority has ruled a Waterstone&#39;s campaign earlier this year that offered 3 for 2 on all fiction paperbacks, but did not include children&#39;s, was misleading.</p><p>The sales promotion stated: &quot;Wow! All fiction paperbacks are 3for2. Treat yourself to three refreshing reads, with our biggest ever 3 for 2. All fiction, crime and science fiction paperbacks are now 3for2. Not sure what to pick? Just ask. We&#39;ll help you find the ones you want. feel every word.&quot;</p><p>The complainant asked the ASA whether the advertisement was misleading because he was told the offer did not extend to children&#39;s fiction, despite the offer being for all paperback fiction.</p><p>Waterstone&#39;s argued no promotional materials had been used in the children&#39;s section and kids titles were seen as a &quot;distinct and separate genre&quot; from other fiction. It said the placement of point of sale made it clear which books were included and which were not.</p><p>However, the ASA noted some children&#39;s books were carrying 3 for 2 stickers, as well as the increasing adult readership of kids&#39; titles such as those by JK Rowling or Philip Pullman. It concluded: &quot;Because the ad stated &#39;All fiction&#39;, we considered that consumers would expect the offer to include children&#39;s fiction. We considered that, because it was not clearly stated that children&#39;s fiction was exempt from the &quot;3for2&quot; offer, the promotion was misleading.&quot;</p><p>Waterstone&#39;s was told the ad must not run again and future point of sale must make clear children&#39;s fiction is not included in similar offers. A spokesman for the retailer said: &quot;We have accepted the ruling and acted accordingly with current point of sale material.&quot;</p>