Groupon slammed for unclear advertising

2 December 2011

Group buying website Groupon is under investigation by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) for its unclear advertising practices.

This follows the release of an official statement from the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), where it reveals it has "serious concerns" over Groupon's ability to follow the advertising code after "repeated breaches".

"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," the statement adds.

Read Nathalie Bonney's blog: The perils of Groupon


The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has upheld 11 complaints about the firm this year and has resolved a further 37 cases informally.

From now on will refer any future complaints about Groupon directly to the OFT.

The OFT says it has been privately investigating the group selling website since July and will continue to investigate it.

In a statement released today, the OFT says it is unable to "determine whether it considers the law has been infringed until it has completed its investigations and assessed the available evidence".

Groupon claims it is "actively engaged" with all its partners at "every stage". "Groupon constantly strives for business practices that are in the best interest of consumers. We are constantly evolving business process to ensure customers receive the best possible experience at the highest standards. We are cooperating fully with the OFT to ensure that the rights of consumers are protected," says a Groupon spokesperson.

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