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PrettyLittleThing Under Fire Over Misleading Ads

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PrettyLittleThing (PLT) is under scrutiny for breaching regulations over “misleading” ads during last year's Black Friday social media campaign. 

According to a BBC report, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) determined PLT released deceptive advertisements between November 23 and November 28, 2023.

This marks the eighth time in four years the fast-fashion giant has been found in violation of advertising rules. 

The ASA investigated 15 posts on X (formerly known as Twitter) from November 2023.

These included offers boasting discounts ranging from 30 to 99 percent. 

The investigation revealed these offers had inconsistent or nonexistent deadlines and often failed to specify product exclusions from the promotions.

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PLT defended its advertising practices, claiming that its campaigns reflect what its customers desire and expect. 

However, the ASA upheld complaints on three main issues. 

“We told them to ensure their ads did not mislead as to the closing date/time of promotions, or imply that discount offers were time-limited or would not be repeated if that was not the case”

Firstly, some ads misleadingly suggested the promotions applied to all products when, in fact, some items were excluded. 

Secondly, the ads breached the code of conduct by omitting closing dates or including closing dates that were later changed without clear communication. 

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The third issue was the ads implied further discounts would not be available after the promotion ended.

In fact, more discounts were subsequently offered online.

ASA said it had told PLT that its adverts should “not state or imply that a promotion included all product lines” if that was not the case.

It added the fashion retailer must ensure that future ads “state significant conditions to promotions and that qualifications were presented clearly”.

ASA said: “We told them to ensure their ads did not mislead as to the closing date/time of promotions, or imply that discount offers were time-limited or would not be repeated if that was not the case.”

PrettyLittleThing said its advertising meets the expectations of its value-oriented customers. 

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