Web Delivery Manager at Sorry, can't tell you which organisation!
12 May 2006 17:26pm
Hi there - please give me some advice, I feel I'm being required to put out a misleading advert on-line.
My client - a big-name consumer brand - is about to launch their first ever on-line advertising campaign.
The offer is "Spend £X.XX in our on-line Shop and get a free [product]." It's a great offer, as the gift product is unique, very attractive and not easy to find in shops, and the whole lot gets free delivery too.
While my company is operating the offer functionality on the Shop website, the Flash banner adverts for the partner sites are being created by another agency - a large-scale advertising agency with a digital off-shoot.
Problem is, this Ad agency has produced an advert banner where the ONLY text says "Get a free [product]!". There's lots of Flash brand imagery, and a tiny asterisk which, the agency says is intended to refer to terms & conditions text BUT held on the clicked-to site, the site we manage.
We feel this is BAD user experience. It means that the first point when the user sees they have to buy to qualify for their free gift, is when they've already clicked through to the Shop site. I can see users feeling conned - a shame when the offer is actually a great one. Having the T & C's a whole site away feels wrong.
When we raised our concerns with the ad agency, they dismissed it, at one point saying "there are lots of websites out there with hooks like that, it's not a problem". The agency is very big on branding and print ads, but this wing has very little experience of on-line behaviour.
Any guidance out there? Anyone with a clear handle on the rules about potential mis-leading advertising, or good practice in on-line offers? I'd be very happy to hear from you!
owner at black and white marketing
17 May 2006 14:52pm
I completely agree with you that its misleading and a poor user experience. What your client is likely to end up with is a huge CTR and potentially few conversions!
I know working with Ad Agencies that the visuals are everything to them and they will not want to ruin it ... could you suggest using the phrase "subject to conditions" somewhere rather than just the asterisk ?
The Click Through could then go to a landing page that clearly explains the offer and opportunity to go shopping. Your client will be able to tracj uniques to this landing page too.
I would guess that your client is paying for impressions rather than clicks, but either way they lose out and need to be informed of this potentially damaging promotion.
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