Pontins brochure ruled ‘misleading' by ASA

28 August 2013 by
Pontins brochure ruled ‘misleading' by ASA

A disgruntled holidaymaker, who didn't think the "fitted kitchen" described in a Pontin's holiday brochure matched up to reality, has had their complaint upheld by the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA).

The holidaymaker booked a self-catering holiday at Pontins Pakefield Resort only to find the "fitted kitchen" described in the brochure comprised only a microwave, toaster and fridge in a bedroom.

The complaint centred on an advertising brochure from Britannia Jinky Jersey t/a Pontins ("Pontins"), which explained the convenience of the company's self-catering accommodation options alongside a photograph clearly showing a hob, oven and sink in a kitchen. There were also three footprint plans of the apartments apparently available, all of which clearly showed a kitchen area with an oven and a sink.

There was also a line of text encouraging guests to visit the Pontins shops and "prepare and cook your mealsin [sic] the comfort of your own Apartment".

Although the brochure did state that the examples pictured were "used for illustrative purposes" and "not representative of all our apartments", the ASA ruled that the brochure was misleading and exaggerated under its code (rules 3.1 and 3.11) and gave the impression that the Pontins shopping and accommodation facilities would allow a family meal to be prepared. It stated that this could reasonably be expected to mean that a hob, oven and sink would be available in the self-catering rooms.

Pontins countered that only its "Club" or "Classic" apartments were available at the Pakefield Resort, most of which only had a fridge, toaster and microwave (only a limited number also have a fridge and hob) as opposed to the "Popular" accommodation option shown in the brochure.

The company also said that the brochure did not explicitly claim that a full kitchenette was available in the apartment concerned, and said that their call centre staff is already trained to give full details of apartment facilities at the time of booking.

Despite this, Pontins was told that the advert must not appear again in its current form, and that the company should make it clearer to customers which kind of self-catering accommodation featured a fully fitted kitchen, and which did not, and to not imply that all options had a full kitchen if that was not the case.

Britannia Hotels buys Pontins out of administration >>

Holiday camp operator Pontin's under new ownership >>

Britannia Hotels buys fifth property in Bournemouth >>

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