Don't stretch the truth‚ Gym Company told
"R99 a month! 10 Jozi gyms to choose from!"
Sound too good to be true? It is! The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has ordered The Gym Company to withdraw all its billboard adverts promoting membership in and around Southdale‚ Rifle Range Road and Robertsham/Crown Garden‚ Xavier Road‚ Ormonde‚ and Winchester Hills in the south of Johannesburg.
The ASA ruling follows complaints by Mohsin-Ali and Anisha Khan. Mohsin-Ali submitted that after signing up‚ he realised that the monthly fee is not R99 but R199.
He said he was then told that the offer is no longer available and has changed to R199. He argued that Gym Company’s response was unacceptable as all billboards still carry the R99 offer.
Anisha also found the advertisement to be misleading for the same reasons argued for by Mohsin-Ali. She said she is aware that the company had two options‚ one being the R99 per month‚ which is specific to one branch‚ and the R199‚ which is accessible to most branches.
However‚ she said she was told that the offer of R199 is no longer available and was replaced with the offer of R299.
The Gym Company did not respond to both complaints sent by the ASA. Subsequently the ASA upheld both complaints and ordered the company to withdraw all of their ads.
"In this matter‚ the advertisement states that membership is ‘only’ R99 per month. This creates an overwhelming impression that the monthly cost of the Respondent’s memberships is only R99 per month‚" the ASA ruled.
For the company’s failure to respond to the complaints‚ the directorate said it will issue an Ad-Alert to its members informing them of its ruling‚ and requesting them not to accept the advertisement in question.