Advertising watchdog bans Sykes Cottages listing

Advertising watchdog bans Sykes Cottages listing

An online listing by Sykes Cottages has been banned as the information was out of date.

The listing for a cottage on the company’s website in March 2017 stated, “the excellent pub next door offers fine ale and an excellent menu”.

But a consumer complained to the Advertising Standards Authority that the listed was misleading because the pub had been closed for more than a year.

The ASA upheld the complaint after Sykes Cottages failed to respond to its enquiries.

In a ruling published today, the advertising watchdog criticised the operator for its lack of response and “apparent disregard” of the advertising code of practice.

“We reminded them of their responsibility to respond promptly to our enquiries and told them to do so in the future,” the ASA said.

Upholding the complaint, the authority said: “The ASA considered that consumers would expect from the information in the ad that there was a pub next door and that this would affect the decision of a significant proportion of consumers regarding staying in the cottage.

“As there was not a pub next door we concluded that the ad was misleading.

“The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told Sykes Cottages to ensure that its listings were up to date and accurately reflected consumers’ likely experiences.”

A Sykes Cottages spokesman said: “We take our responsibilities in regard to the advertising our properties extremely seriously.

“This was an innocent and isolated mistake relating to the description of one of over 10,000 listings on our website and was quickly rectified.

“We’re sorry for any confusion it caused the customer in question.”

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