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Advertising watchdog defends Peter Vardy ad - but criticises company for its 'lack of response'

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Peter Vardy has attracted criticism from advertising watchdogs, despite dismissing complaints regarding one its ads..

The Advertising Standards Agency said it contacted the dealer group following complaints to an ad on on June 6. But it did not respond.

The ASA said in a report today, referring to the Committees of Advertising Practice (CAP) code on advertising standards: “The ASA was concerned by Peter Vardy’s lack of response and apparent disregard for the code. We reminded them of their responsibility to respond promptly to our enquiries and told them to do so in future.”

The ASA said it had “referred the matter to the CAP compliance team”.

Why the ad prompted complaints

The online ad contained the text “save 43%” in a speech bubble. Accompanying text stated “price when new: £20,939 From: £11,999 Save: £8,940”.

Additional text stated “Cash price Our price £11,999 Price when new £20,939 Saving £8,940.”

Complainants told the ASA they didn’t believe the comparison was a fair one, while understanding the ad compared a used car against its list price when new.

In rejecting the complaints, the ASA said that with the percentage saving being the most prominent text, plus the use of the words ’64 plate’ – the “information was presented sufficiently clearly for readers to understand the basis of the price comparison and to understand the ‘you save’ figure referred to the difference between the price of the car when originally new and the current value of a used car”.

The ad was therefore “unlikely to mislead”.

CAP writes and maintains the UK advertising codes, which are administered by the ASA. It also offers the industry authoritative advice and guidance on how to create campaigns that comply with the rules.

> The ASA's ruling 

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