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Lightinthebox reprimanded by ASA for ‘misleading’ prices

British online clothing retailer Lightinthebox has been reprimanded by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) over an advert for men’s shoes.

The advert for ‘Men’s Shoes Patent Leather Spring/Fall Comfort Oxfords Gray/Blue Burgundy’ text on the advert stated “GBP £34.11(crossed through) £19.74 (43% off)”. Lower down on the page text stated “Process time 2-5 business days Shipping Time: Expedited Express 2-5 business days”.

A complainant argued “£19.74” was “misleading and could be substantiated” because they were required to pay additional duty tax fees and that “Process time 2-5 business days Shipping Time: Expedited Express 2-5 business days” was “misleading and could be substantiated” because they understood that the product was shipped from China.

Lightinthebox failed to respond to the ASA’s enquiries with the advertising body adding it was “concerned by Lightinthebox.com’s lack of response and apparent disregard for the code”. The ASA reminded the retailer of its “responsibility to respond promptly to our enquiries and told them to do so in future”.

Clothing retailer, Lightinthebox was told by the ASA that the ad “must not appear again in its current form”.

The ASA said: “The ASA considered that consumers would interpret the claim ‘£19.74’ to mean that that was the total cost of the product including all non-optional taxes, duties, fees and charges.We understood that after purchasing the product, the complainant was required to pay additional duty tax because the product was shipped from China.

“We considered that, given the claims appeared on the UK version of the website, most buyers would be from the UK and would be required to pay VAT on goods entering the UK. We therefore considered that the total product price, inclusive of all taxes could be calculated in advance and should have been included in the advertised price.”

It added: “For that reason, we concluded that the price claim was misleading.”

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