As the advertising watchdog rules that Poundland must not claim “Everything’s £1” in future advertising
Poundland has built its £1bn business on the claim that “Everything’s £1”.
The claim helped the pound shop sell 5.5 million boxes of Maltesers, 2.5 million umbrellas and three million lightbulbs in 2014 alone.
Poundland’s has proudly dotted its website with the “Everything’s £1” claim.
On its About Us page, it states: “We are very proud to offer you a single £1 price, that hasn’t changed since we opened our first store.”
However, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has now ruled that none of Poundland’s future advertising can state it sells products for £1.
Why? Here’s what went wrong:
Poundland launched “special promotions” for selling CDs for £2 at the till. Only customers that spent a certain amount of money were offered to buy the CDs.
The ASA got three complaints stating that these offers were misleading customers as the products cost more than £1.
The advertising body has ordered Poundland to change wording on its site and has ruled that their future advertising must not state or suggest that every item they sold cost £1. It said that Poundland’s claims on its website suggested that it sold everything for £1 “regardless of whether or not they [products] were sold via a concession arrangement or as promotional goods that were not otherwise available for purchase”.
Here’s ASA’s full statement:
“We acknowledged that the majority of Poundland’s products retailed at £1 and that items that cost above that amount could only be purchased from the DVD concession or through the “conditional spend” promotion. We noted that the promotional items would only be offered to consumers who spent the necessary amount of money that qualified them for the offer and would only be made available at the POS. Furthermore, we understood that the DVDs sold at Poundland were shelved on a concession that was segregated from their £1 products.
“However, we considered that the claims “Everything for £1 was the idea of our founders in 1990 and we’re still true to that great vision today”, “Everything for £1 was the idea of our founders in 1990 and we’ve grown to become the largest single price value retailer in the UK”, “The same amazing price since 1990!” and “We are very proud to offer you a single £1 price, that hasn’t changed since we opened our first store”, suggested that every item sold by Poundland cost £1, regardless of whether or not they were sold via a concession arrangement or as promotional goods that were not otherwise available for purchase. Therefore, because that was not the case, we concluded that the ad was misleading.
“The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told Poundland Ltd that their future advertising must not state or suggest that every item they sold cost £1.”
Here’s Poundland’s response:
A spokesman said: “Following advice from the ASA on the communication of our special promotions on the Poundland website, we have amended the site and made the special promotions clearer.
“Poundland sells over 4,000 products at £1, including over 1,000 well-known brands and we are proud of the amazing value we offer, to over 5.5 million customers every week.
“Our special promotions have been bought by nearly one million customers, and are an additional offer separate to our usual product lines for customers who qualify, by spending £3 or more in-store.
“These items cannot be bought separately. Customer feedback has been outstanding.”
Here are 10 products that Poundland sells for over £1:
1. £3 Fluffy Rabit (for customers who spend £3 and over)
2. £3 Nivea Skin Set (for customers who spend £3 and over)
3. £4 Thorntons chocolate (when customers spend £5 or more)
4. £8 David Beckham Intimately perfume (when customers spend £3 or more)
5. £6 Beyonce Pulse 30ml fragrances (when customers spend £3 or more)
6. £6 Thomas Calvi watch (when customers spend £3 or more)
7. DVDs and CDs for £2