Advert for eBay banned by ad watchdogASA raps eBay for 'misleading' price comparison ad

23 April 2009

Ebay logo

An eBay poster advert boasting that its prices were a quarter cheaper than those in high street shops has been banned by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

The ASA said consumers would take the eBay advert, which read: ‘Guess what? 25% cheaper than the high street on brand new items,’ to be an absolute claim that eBay was cheaper than the main high street stores for all new items, although there was not enough evidence to support this.

Ad for eBay banned

A response from eBay said that for each of 288 new products, the average price from recent eBay sales - including postal charges - were compared with an average of prices in stores such as Debenhams and John Lewis.

But it was not made clear in the advert that certain items such as furniture, garden goods, luggage, desktop computers and toys and games were not included in the comparison.

The ASA ruled the ad was misleading because it did not make the basis for comparison clear enough. Small print explained the basis of the ad's claim, but the advertising watchdog said it was not big enough to avoid being overlooked and contradicted the main message of the headline.

Banned poster

An eBay spokesman said: ‘The single complaint received by the ASA regarding our Christmas 2008 '25% cheaper than the high street' advertising campaign stands in stark contrast to the 15million shoppers who return to every month knowing they'll get exactly those kind of deals.’

Which? can help you ensure that you shop safely on eBay with our free guide but also take a look at what rights you have when you buy from or sell on eBay on other auction sites.

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