Various driving experiences were advertised under offers on the Treatme.net website, and each offer stated an end-date. The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) received a complaint that the offer end-dates were misleading as they changed every day.
The website operator argued that the end-dates were not misleading; as the end-date came closer, the suppliers of the offer often found that they had spare capacity, and so extended the offer. If capacity had already been reached by the end-date, the offer was removed from the website.
The ASA ruled that the advert breached the CAP Code (the code of practice that seeks to ensure that adverts are not misleading). Suppliers often had spare capacity, and when the offer was extended, that was not advantageous to consumers viewing the offer; as the offer initially had an end-date, consumers would feel a sense of urgency to take up the offer by that date, and they might not have taken that decision had they known from the start that the end-date might actually be extended.
The ASA said that the advert should not appear again in its current form. Although the CAP Code does not have legal force, it is best practice to comply with it, as failure to do so can result in bad publicity and ultimately an inability to obtain advertising space.