Argos ad banned for misleading delivery claims

The Argos "Walrus" ad to promote its home-delivery service, launched in September, has been banned by the advertising watchdog today (1 December) for misleading potential customers.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has banned the ad, created by CHI & Partners, over its claim that deliveries could take place "at a time that's right for you," when in fact only two slots – morning and evening – were available.

Three viewers complained about the ad, which features two penguins making a delivery to a walrus.

The voiceover said: "The walrus spends most of its day dragging its huge mass around, hunting for food. But imagine if it could ‘Argos it’".

Once the penguins complete their delivery, the voiceover continues: "With over 1,500 lorries, we can deliver what you want at a time slot that’s right for you".

Superimposed text stated: "Terms, delivery charges and exclusions apply. Excludes jewellery".

The viewers challenged whether the claim that deliveries can be made "at a time that's right for you" could be substantiated.

Argos said that by offering two slots – morning and evening – the claim "a slot that's right for you" was not misleading, because customers were allocated a time period in which they could expect a delivery. Clearcast did not believe the claim was an absolute promise.

The ASA concluded that the claim implied that customers could specify a delivery time of their choosing, which was at their convenience, and therefore that they had a wide degree of choice about when their goods would be delivered.

The ad cannot be shown again in its current form.

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