Several months ago, we told you the story of a Lowe’s TV commercial that promised “20% off major appliances $396 and up,” but the hard-to-read fine print excluded virtually all the major brands: “Whirlpool, Maytag, KitchenAid, Amana, GE, LG, Samsung, Frigidaire, Electrolux and Bosch brands limited to a maximum 10% discount, unless otherwise shown.”
Outrageous, right? After Mouse Print* pointed out the deceptive nature of this advertisement, the company pulled the ad and said it was an error. Lowe’s tried to correct the ad merely by adding the words “up to” — saying “Up to 20% off major appliances $396 and up.” But, they kept the same disclaimer indicating that almost nothing was 20% off.
Our trusty mouse was infuriated. He filed a complaint with the National Advertising Division (NAD) of the Council of Better Business Bureaus, which reviews problematic advertising usually at the behest of an aggrieved competitor.
Last week, the NAD rendered a decision in the case calling upon Lowe’s to discontinue their “up to 20% off” savings claims in future advertising unless a substantial amount of their inventory is at least 20% off, and any exceptions are clearly and conspicuously disclosed (unlike the inconspicuous disclosure used in the commercial).