The time has finally come. Those god awful TV ads from Safestyle UK have been banned from broadcast by the ASA (Advertising Standards Authority) after they were judged to have been misleading. I can almost hear the industry collectively saying “FINALLY!”

Banned in their current form

The judging by the ASA bans the company from broadcasting their infamous advert in their current form as “they were likely to mislead consumers as to the savings available.” The adverts were investigated after two complaints that they might indeed be misleading. According to a report from Insider Media:

As a result, the stock exchange-listed business provided the ASA with a number of invoices to show that its products had been sold at list price and also a breakdown of offer periods during the six months before the ads were broadcast.

The ASA acknowledged that Safestyle products had been sold at list price during the six months before the ads were broadcast, but nonetheless noted that the goods had only been offered at full price for a total of 26 days during those six months.

For the other 158 days of the six-month period, the products had been offered at discounted prices of 55 per cent, 60 per cent or as part of a ‘buy one get one free’ offer.

The ASA found that, because the products had been available at the 55 per cent off promotional price, and at other promotional prices, for a period far exceeding the full price during the months leading up to the identical promotion, the 55 per cent saving claim was not based on the price at which the products were usually sold.

Click here to read the full report from Insider Media


Anyone within the industry knows what a discount is. It’s artificially added margin which is then removed to give the appearance of a sale or discount price. I don’t like it. I think it’s a weak tactic and it is what has helped make our industry look cheap gimmicky. Still, Safestyle are probably the most notorious when it comes to discounts, I think not a single person who works in windows took the BOGOF or 55% discount claims seriously. I suspect that a lot of homeowners never did either. So was an investigation of this type inevitable?

Probably. After advertising discounts that seemed too good to be true for so long, there was bound to be an air of suspicion. It was only a matter of time before someone decided they needed to take a look into this. I welcome the ASA’s results, but I think they should have looked into this a long time ago.

Further investigations are possible

When you investigate one company for misleading advertising, I believe that the door is then opened for the ASA to investigate others, if not the whole industry. For a long time I believe the industry has used artificially heavy discounting as a way to close sales, often on homeowners who aren’t that comfortable in go ahead with that company in the first place. You can’t tell me a reduction of say, 40%, is a genuine on. Who can afford to take 40% off the cost of their quite just like that?

Common sense speaks for itself in situations like that, and I think the authorities might uncover quite a lot more misleading adverts, discounts and promotions once they start to scratch the surface. The other thing to bear in mind here is that the ASA were also investigating whether the prices jobs were sold at were ever initially advertised at list price. Wonder how many heavily discounting businesses actually do this?

What next for those adverts?

Well, they’re clearly not allowed to broadcast those ads they way they are right now. So they’re going to have to change either their claims about discounts and how they’re applied to the products, or perhaps they could use this as an opportunity to change their advertising strategy and use more tasteful advertising to not only try and improve their own image with the general public but also the image of the industry. We’ll see in time.

What do you think? Are you happy to see the ASA ban the ads from the air waves? Do you think it was only a matter of time? Or are you a business that implements heavy discounting to achieve sales and do you think this is an unfair ruling from the ASA? All comments welcome in the section below.