Jan 142012

Other recent items of interest…

First, catch-up:

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Dec 042011

From the Guardian:

The Office of Fair Trading is to launch an investigation into Groupon after the daily deals website was found to have broken UK advertising regulations almost 50 times in less than a year.

Per the article, Groupon was referred to the OFT by the Advertising Standards Authority to see if the company is “complying with consumer protection legislation, including in relation to certain of its advertising practices”.

Groupon’s most recent breach came last week when the ASA banned a promotion email offering discounted cosmetic surgery, ruling that it “pressured” consumers into hurriedly making potentially life-changing decisions in just a few hours.

In a statement the ASA said that it was referring Groupon over three specific concerns: “failure to conduct promotions fairly, such as not making clear significant terms and conditions”; “failure to provide evidence that offers are available”; and “exaggeration of savings claims”.

“We are taking this approach because, given Groupon’s track record, we have serious concerns about its ability to adhere to the advertising code,” said the ASA. “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.”

(h/t @technollama)