Argos under fire from ASA over misleading ‘last purchased’ website claim

High street retailer Argos has come under fire by The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) over its “misleading” Xbox advert.

Argos’, which showed two Xbox consoles on its website last September and October with captions stating “Going Fast! Last purchased one minute ago” and “Selling Fast! Purchased 24 times since your last visit”, received two complaints challenging the claims.

One complainant, who understood that Argos did not have stock of the Xbox Series X 1TB Console, challenged whether the claims “last purchased one minute ago” the item being “purchased 24 times since your last visit”.

As a result, the advertising association deemed that because Argos had not been able to substantiate the claims about recent purchases stated in the ad, it was seen as “misleading” and also breached the Code.

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“We therefore considered that a retailer who listed such an item as being in stock would expect to see an increase in attempted purchases because of the mixture of its scarcity and popularity,” ASA said.

“We acknowledged Argos’s comment that 172 consoles had been sold on the day the complainant saw the messages concerning its recent sales history, and that availability had depended on a consumer’s location.

“Argos did not, however, provide any evidence to substantiate the claim seen by the complainant that a console had been sold within a minute of when they had seen the ad, nor 24 times since their last visit.”

The listing also stated the item was “in demand” with “100+ others adding this to basket today”, despite the Xbox Series X 1TB console not being available for collection or delivery.

However, according to Argos it had 9,159 units of X Box Series X 1TB Console had been sold between 13 September 2021 and 7 November 2021.

It added that it only had limited availability on the products in question but not completely sold out, which had been highlighted on the website.



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