The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has ruled that an advert used by Heart of Midlothian Football Club was misleading as it misled fans in relation to the price of season tickets.
The advert claimed that fans could buy the season ticket at the “lowest season ticket starting price”, but when fans tried to purchase at that price they were unable to do so. Hearts claimed that the season tickets sold out faster than anticipated and that, with hindsight, they should have said that the tickets had limited availability; however, the ASA ruled that the advert was used at a time when there were no tickets available at that low price and sufficient efforts had not been used to stop the advert being used. The advert breached the CAP Code (the code of practice that seeks to ensure that adverts are not misleading) and the ASA said that:
1) the advert should not appear again in its current form; and
2) Hearts should ensure that future adverts included all significant conditions.
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.