ASA sees an increase in daily deal ad problems

Groupon complaints pile up

Complaints about Groupon advertising practices are continuing to flood in after being investigated by the Advertising Standards Authority and then the Office of Fair Trading.

Marketing Week reports that since the daily deal firm was referred to the OFT in December, complaints to the ASA have increased. It has received 162 about 161 advertisements since the referral.

In the first 11 months of 2011, the ASA found Groupon had broken the advertising code for promotions 48 times – of these 11 complaints were upheld and the remaining were informally resolved.

A Groupon spokesman said in Marketing Week: “The number of complaints to the ASA is tiny in the context of the several million vouchers Groupon has sold in the UK in the period in question, and the many happy customers who return to Groupon again and again.”

Groupon would probably also point out that any increase in complaints is simply part of its increase in popularity. The firm filed an IPO earlier in the year that raised a whopping $700 million.

The voucher site has also extended its reach to cross most retail sectors over the last 12 months. IT is no exception, with companies like The Stone Group doing well with laptop sales through the scheme, and consumer electronics and accessories also proving popular.

Last year, the ASA said:

"Following repeated breaches of the Advertising Code by MyCityDeal Ltd t/a Groupon, the Advertising Standards Authority is now referring complaints that we receive about Groupon’s ads to the Office of Fair Trading (OFT). We are referring complaints that specifically concern Groupon’s:

  • Failure to conduct promotions fairly, such as not making clear significant terms and conditions
  • Failure to provide evidence that offers are available
  • Exaggeration of savings claims."

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