Advert for crisp packet holiday competition banned by advertising watchdog

Advert for crisp packet holiday competition banned by advertising watchdog

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An advert for a Walkers Crisps competition offering 20,000 holidays has been banned after more than 100 consumers complained that the trips on offer were virtually impossible to win.

The Spell and Go promotion, which featured TV adverts fronted by Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker, had participants taking codes printed on promotional packets of crisps and entering them on a website to gain letters that would help them spell out holiday destinations. A completed name of a destination would result in a holiday.

But customers took to social media to complain that it seemed impossible to get the letters C, D or K to complete the names of some of the places.

More than 100 people complained to the Advertising Standards Authority that the competition withheld certain letters.

Defending the promotion, Walkers said all 26 destinations included at least one of the letters C, D or K – known as type one letters – and the company had ensured enough of these were in circulation to allow for 20,000 holidays to be won.

The company said 796 families had won four-star, seven-night holidays worth more than £1.35 million.

Following the complaints, the advertising watchdog said it was satisfied a small proportion of the total number of letters in circulation were type one letters.

However, the authority was not satisfied with another part of the competition, the “random swap” function, which allowed participants to swap letters within a “pool” on the competition’s website, which stated “all letters are treated equally”.

The ASA discovered that C, D or K could not be won in the pool. It said the omission was “misleading and likely to cause unnecessary disappointment to consumers”.

A Walkers spokeswoman told the Press Association: “We welcome the ASA’s recognition that our Spell and Go promotion was fair as everyone who participated had an equal chance of winning one of the 20,000 holidays available.

“We are aware some customers are disappointed that they have not been successful in winning a holiday; 20,000 holidays could have been won if all the promotional packs in the market had been played and we would have honoured all of those should that have been the case.”

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