Usually when a company is accused of misleading customers, it’s able to fall back upon a disclaimer buried deep within the fine print. Hearts of Midlothian Football Club forgot the fine print, and now has to face the wrath of its angry fans.
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) claims that Hearts intentionally mislead its fans through an inaccurate radio ad, according to the BBC.
The dispute arose when the club ran an ad offering fans “the lowest season ticket starting price,” only for fans to find out that no such tickets were available. Caught with its hand in the cookie jar, the club’s flimsy explanation was arguably more offensive than the failed scheme.
Hearts — accurately — cited that a change in ticket sale procedure caused a massive spike in sales that exceeded the club’s expectations. It went on to assert — not so accurately — that had it known that tickets would sell out so quickly, it would have included a “subject to availability” or “available while stocks last” disclaimer to the advertisement.
Unfortunately for Hearts, the good folks over at the ASA discovered — in what probably took five minutes over coffee — that the club ran the advertisement on two days when the tickets were not available. Case closed.
The message to all future schemers out there is that if you’re going to try to bait-and-switch your own fans, at least have the decency to put some heart into the cover-up.
Photo via Flickr/JMoy Photography