Email and radio ads promoting a 10 per cent discount on “all new and used firearms” at Alberta Cabela’s locations broke advertising standards, according to Canada's Ad Standards council.
The deal was part of the company's "weekend firearms sale" that occured in late May and early June 2019.
A shopper complained to the council that the ad from the outdoor recreation retailer was misleading after visiting a store to take advantage of the offer. He was told by a clerk that the deal didn’t apply to the item he wanted to buy.
“The claim in the advertisement was that the sale applied to all items, which was not accurate,” reads the council’s ruling.
The decision outlines how Cabela’s defended its ads, noting they directed consumers to “check out the deals online and in-store.” It also said a disclaimer stating the offer was available “on regular-priced items” was accidentally left out of the email ads.
“Council found that the advertisements did not clearly state all pertinent details of the offer,” reads the ruling.
“It was not possible to state that the promotion was applicable to ‘all’ firearms, and then limit this through any type of qualification. The word ‘all’ does not allow for any exclusions.”
Cabela’s didn’t respond to calls and emails from CTV News seeking comment.
The Ads Standard council bases its rulings on the Canadian Code of Advertising Standards and is made up of between five and seven people with membership split between the industry and the public. Decisions are made by a majority vote.
The council ruled Cabela’s breached three sections of the code’s rules around accuracy and clarity.
“All pertinent details of an advertisement must be clearly and understandably stated,” reads section 1 c) of the code.
The Ads Standard council bases its rulings on the Canadian Code of Advertising Standards and is made up of between five and seven people with membership split between the industry and the public.
Decisions are made by a majority vote.
The council can publicly identify ads and advertisers who fail to comply with its direction through its rulings.
It can also notify Canada’s Competition Bureau, the law enforcement agency charged with enforcing the Competition Act.