ASA refers Groupon complaints to the OFT

Groupon, the daily deals site, is being referred to the Office of Fair Trading by the Advertising Standards Authority following “repeated breaches” of the advertising code by its MyCityDeal business.

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Complaints relating to exaggerating savings from deals, not making deals available, not making terms and conditions clear and Groupon’s “failure to conduct promotions fairly” will now be referred directly to the OFT.

The advertising watchdog says: “We are taking this approach because, given Groupon’s track record, we have serious concerns about its ability to adhere to the Advertising Code. It is in the public interest that we refer the matter to the OFT, the OFT being better placed to address any underlying issues concerning Groupon’s trading practices generally.”

This year the ASA has formally investigated and upheld complaints against Groupon 11 times. It has also informally resolved 37 cases.

In January a number of its promotions were ruled as misleading.

Groupon listed on the New York stock exchange last month in the largest internet flotation since Google.

It launched its first TV ads in the UK in October.

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