Argos caught out by advertising watchdog

Helen Cahill
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The watchdog told Argos to make sure it had enough stock to meet customers' requests (Source: Getty)

Argos has come under criticism from the Advertising Standards Authority for failing to make sure enough customers could access its PS4 deals.

The retailer was offering deals on the PS4 console in autumn last year. However, customers complained that Argos had refused to offer them the deals on the basis that the retailer had sold out.

Argos informed ASA that it had been prepared to meet 84.84 per cent of the demand for one of its deals, and that the company was forced to remove the deal from its website when it received "unprecedented" demand for the product after the deal was announced.

Read more: John Lewis tarnished by Apple Watch advertising scandal

ASA said in its ruling: "The ads depicted the promotional offer with no indication that availability was limited. The ASA therefore considered that consumers would expect the products to be generally available. In that case, we would expect to see evidence that the product was widely available and that Argos had sufficient stock to meet expected demand."

The watchdog told Argos to either make sure that it had enough stock to meet demand in future, or inform customers that stock was limited.

The dispute follows on from a similar spat at John Lewis. The department store was criticised by ASA for pulling an Apple Watch promotion from its website, which was oversubscribed.

An Argos spokesperson said: “We’re disappointed but accept today’s ruling.”

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