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Published on Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Mercury Holidays in trouble for 'misleading' adverts

Mercury Holidays has come under the scrutiny of advertising watchdogs after complaints about two of its adverts in the national press.

Two consumers said there were unable to find holidays at the prices advertised, leading to an investigation by the Advertising Standards Authority.

The ASA upheld the complaints and ordered the company's partent, Sunspot Tours, not to run the misleading adverts again.

The adverts promoted deals offering a week's four-star half board holiday with a second week free from £359, with a table showing the 'from' prices of different durations between September to May.

A second advert offered two weeks half board with a third week free from £329.

Mercury Holidays provided various evidence in a bid to back up its claims, arguing that prices were based on the cost and availability of low-cost flights which changed daily.

It also argued that a disclaimer at the end of the adverts made it clear the 'from' price was subject to availability and could change, but claimed it was accurate at the time of printing.

But the ASA ruled it had not seen evidence to demonstrate that a reasonable quantity of holidays were available at the advertised 'from' price at the time the ad appeared.

It said the ad did not make sufficiently clear that the 'from' price was subject to change and had limited availability.

"We told Sunspot Tours not to use 'from' prices if they were unable to demonstrate that the price in question was available to consumers at the time the ad appeared, in reasonable quantities and spread evenly across the advertised travel period," said the ASA report.

"We also told them to ensure that, where holiday prices were subject to change and had limited availability that was made clear in a prominent statement."

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  • 2 consumers complained ?

    Yet another storm in a teacup. What a useless organisation asa must be. Close them down now. What a wate of taxpayers money

    By Michael Anderson, Wednesday, July 3, 2019

  • Finally

    Glad someone finally managed to get action against them. Reported to ASA a couple of years ago re the same issue on the website and they didn't follow it up.

    By LINDA PARKES, Wednesday, July 3, 2019

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