The Advertising Standards Authority has banned The Car People from using an advert which claims its cars are “quality checked by eight specialists”.
The ASA concluded that customers might have expected the cars to have been inspected by eight technical specialists, such as buyers and inspectors, given the statement made in the advertisement, which appeared on The Car People’s website.
However, we considered that consumers would not generally view some of the checks, for example the check by the hand-over team, as being undertaken by a “specialist”.
A single complainant had requested information on which specialists had looked at their car, challenging whether the ad was misleading and could be substantiated.
A statement issued by The Car People in response said that these specialists were buyers who chose the cars, inspectors who checked cars, road testers who road tested the vehicles, cosmetic repairers, a valet quality check, display checkers, a final quality checker and a hand-over team.
However, the ASA said: “We considered that some of the checks carried out by The Car People suggested they were done by technical specialists, such as buyers and inspectors.
“However, we considered that consumers would not generally view some of the checks, for example the check by the hand-over team, as being undertaken by a ‘specialist’.”
It added: “Because The Car People did not demonstrate what specialist skills or function that the members of staff who carried out each quality check held, we concluded that the ad was misleading.”
The authority concluded that the advert should not appear again in its current form.
It stated: “We told The Car People Ltd not to state that its vehicles were checked by ’specialists’ unless they held evidence that they were checked by members of staff with particular expertise in fields that would be viewed by consumers as ‘specialist’.
The Car People has been part of the Sytner Group since it was acquired by the AM100’s number one retail group by turnover in December last year.
The car supermarket operator has locations in Sheffield, Wakefield, Manchester and Warrington.