Premier Inn ad banned after watchdog ruled it was misleading

Premier Inn advert banned
By Linsey McNeill
01/05/2024
Home » Premier Inn ad banned after watchdog ruled it was misleading

Premier Inn has been told to ensure a ‘significant proportion’ of its rooms are available at its stated lead in price after watchdogs found the budget hotel chain’s advert for rooms from £35 a night in Edinburgh was misleading.

A consumer had complained that they were unable to find a room in the Scottish capital at the advertised lead in price last November.

Following an investigation, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) discovered that Premier Inn had only a ‘small percentage’ of rooms available at the advertised ‘from’ price.

Defending its advert, Premier Inn’s parent, Whitbread, provided the ASA data showing that for 365 days from the time the online advert appeared 4 November 2023 there were 112 ‘site nights’ when rooms were available to book for £35.

Whitbread also provided a table that showed there had been 377 ‘site nights’ available at £35 in the booking window, which it considered a ‘significant spread’.

Premier Inn said it provided training on responsible advertising, including around availability and appropriate targeting of ads. 

It had also removed the challenged claim so that the complaint could be properly investigated and they could ‘fully scrutinise their data’.

Upholding the complaint, the advertising watchdog said consumers would think when they saw the ad that a ‘significant proportion’ of rooms would be available at £35, but in fact rooms were only available at that price on a ‘small percentage’ of  site nights.

The ad was banned and Whitbread has been told to ensure that when using ‘from’ price claims it must have a significant proportion of rooms available at the advertised price.

Premier Inn announced this week that it will add more than 3,500 extra hotel rooms across the UK by getting rid of almost 240 of its restaurants.

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