Glyn Hopkin Group has been told to ensure that its used car adverts do not omit information about previous use as part of a fleet as part of a ruling by the Advertising Standards Authority.
The Romford-based retail group was advised alongside FCA Group following complaints about a pair of adverts for Alfa Romeo Giulietta hatchbacks which, the complainant highlighted, failed to acknowledge the vehicles’ use as part of a fleet.
In a ruling published by the ASA it emerged that Glyn Hopkin had accepted responsibility for ensuring that the information provided in the ads was accurate and said that they “correctly stated the standard manufacturer’s description for the models along with individual data with regards to the age and mileage and any extras fitted”.
It also said that, while no mention of the cars’ previous business use appeared in the advert, a customer would be informed of this in order to reach an informed purchase decision upon making an enquiry about the vehicles.
The ASA also acknowledged the retailer’s argument that the FCA Group’s website template for used car classified ads did not provide free space to include additional information.
“Consequently, they believed that they could not be held accountable for the ads as they were only able to provide information that was required within the parameters of FCA’s website, which they had no control over”, the ASA said.
FCA Group provided the ASA with evidence that both Alfa Romeo Giuliettas offered for sale via Glyn Hopkin had previously been run by its contractors and had not been used by multiple parties.
Also consulting the ASA on the case, on behalf of the FCA Group, the SMMT said that believed that Office of Fair Trading (OFT) "Guidance for second hand car dealers" only applied to ex-fleet vehicles that might have had multiple users.
In its conclusions, however, the ASA determined “because (the adverts) had omitted material information regarding the cars having been previously used for business purposes whilst part of a fleet” that “they were misleading”.
Revealing its subsequent course of action, the ASA said: “We told Glyn Hopkin and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles UK to ensure that their future ads did not mislead by omitting information that they had to show that their vehicles were previously used for business purposes whilst part of a fleet.”