ASA bans ads due to misleading statements

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The operator will not be allowed to use the ‘from £1’ statement unless a ‘significant proportion’ of seats can be booked for £1

A ruling from the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has stated that the ‘fares from £1’ adverts are misleading.

The ASA told that ads must not appear again in their current form, and should the ‘from £1’ price claim be made again, a ‘significant proportion’ of the advertised fares must be available at £1 so that consumers ‘would have a reasonable chance of obtaining the products at the advertised ‘from’ price.’

The ASA investigation was triggered after two customers made complaints. The first related to the homepage of the website on September 29, 2017, which stated that the ‘New Aberystwyth to Birmingham service’ had fares ‘From £1*’. A second web page, seen on August 31, 2017, titled ‘New coach travel to Yorkshire from September 4, 2017,’ listed services from Leeds to new destinations in Yorkshire, and stated ‘As always our fares are from £1*’.

The second complaint related to a Facebook post by, dated September 8, 2017, featured an image of Bath and London that included text stating ‘DAY TRIPS FROM £1* London to Bath’.

The two complainants believed that fares were not available at the stated price and challenged whether the claim ‘fares are from £1*’ was misleading and could be substantiated. said that at the time the website claim relating to the Aberystwyth to Birmingham route was seen, there was one fare for that route for October 10, 2017, priced at £1 available online. At the time the Facebook ad was published, there was one fare for the London to Bath route for September 22, 2017 priced at £1 available. said that the number of fares available at £1 for any given route varied due to many factors, and added that fares at £1 were generally available if the booking was made around four weeks in advance of the departure date.

With regard to the website claim relating to destinations in Yorkshire, said it related to new services from Leeds to various destinations in Yorkshire. They said the London to Leeds service was operated by, while the second leg of the journey was operated by another company, although sold tickets for the entire journey. said fares were available at £1 on every London to Leeds service, but there was an additional fare for the second leg of the journey, and its standard wording about £1 fares had been used in error and was removed.

An ASA spokesperson said: “We considered that consumers would understand that not all tickets would be priced at £1, but would expect to be able to find the ‘from’ price in the ads for tickets across a range of dates if they booked in advance.

“ had provided evidence to show that there was one fare available at the ‘from’ price of £1 on both the Aberystwyth to Birmingham route and London to Bath route at the time the ads were seen. However, we noted it had not provided evidence supporting their estimated figures of the proportion of fares available at £1 on each departure for the two routes, as it stood at the time the ads were seen by the complainants. Notwithstanding that, based on the numbers of £1 fares said were available on each route, we understood that only 4% of fares for departures on the Aberystwyth to Birmingham route were available at £1, and 3% were available for departures on the London to Bath route.

“We considered that those figures did not represent a significant proportion of seats being available at the advertised ‘from’ price for those routes. We noted in particular that only one of the £1 fares on the London to Bath route was for the full length of the route.

“We therefore concluded that the ‘From £1’ claims relating to the Aberystwyth to Birmingham and London to Bath routes on the website and in the Facebook ad were misleading because the availability of £1 fares was not what consumers would have expected based on the claim in the ad.

“We further understood that it was not possible to purchase tickets at £1 from various locations around the UK to the new destinations in Yorkshire as stated in the ad, because there was an extra fare for the second leg of the journey from Leeds. Because there were no fares available at the advertised ‘from’ price of £1 for the new destinations in Yorkshire, we concluded the website was also misleading on that basis.

A spokeswoman said: “We have always provided clear and transparent pricing for all of our customers, including the many thousands who have taken advantage of our great £1 seat offer.

“While we will continue to offer seats from £1, in line with recommendations from the ASA we have decided to focus our marketing on the great value that all fares offer, along with welcome extras such as onboard WiFi and charging points.”