The UK Advertising Standards Authority has upheld complaints against a TV advertisement and website offer for the Samsung Galaxy Note II smartphone. Both promotions encouraged customers to “Trade up now to a Galaxy Note II” with the possible reward of a free Samsung Tab 2 tablet or discounts off Samsung products.
Each advertisement noted that the offer applied to ‘selected smartphones’ but two complainants claimed the ads were misleading because only a very limited number of phones were eligible for the free trade-up offer.
Samsung said over 30 smartphones were eligible for the overall offer, including Apple, BlackBerry, HTC, Nokia, Samsung and Sony Ericsson devices. Customers needed to enter their phone’s details online to see if it was eligible and what its value was. Not all devices could be used to claim a free Tab 2; at the time of the complaints, just three iPhone 4 models, three iPhone 4S models and the Samsung Galaxy SII could be traded in for free Galaxy Tab 2.
However, the ASA noted that the TV ad didn’t clarify that the free Tab 2 and discount deal had separate conditions. In addition, the voiceover on the TV ad didn’t specify that the trade-in applied only to ‘smartphones’. It considered that just allowing three types of smartphone to be traded in for the free Galaxy Tab 2 was significant and should have been stated in the ad.
Similarly, the terms & conditions for the online advertising didn’t specify that the free Tab 2 could only be claimed when trading in a choice of three smartphones. It concluded this ad was also misleading.