CAR LEASING website LingsCars.com has been targeted by the advertising standards authority, after the body received a complaint about the listing of a DeLorean on the site.
Listings for the DeLorean DMC-12 on a low-cost personal lease was defended by the company’s operator, Ling Valentine as being ‘clearly a joke’ – with the car having ceased production over 30 years ago.
Valentine even went as far as suggesting that the ASA had been ‘suckered into a publicity stunt by the complainant’, pointing to activity on an internet forum where a user stated jokily that they would refer the matter to the ASA.
‘The complainant is trying to make the ASA look like an ass by pursuing this silly complaint,’ Valentine said in a correspondence with the ASA.
‘When there is no room in the world for jokes, someone looks foolish. I urge your to slap him down and ensure it’s him looking foolish, not you. Hope this helps.’
The ASA weren’t convinced, however – disagreeing with the suggestion that the advertised £150/month leasing deals for DeLoreans wouldn’t be taken seriously.
‘Your website offers cars (some are unusual and unique) for leasing,’ investigations executive Lucy Crowe responded, ‘so consumers who visit your website would have no reason to believe that the DeLorean is not available.
‘You cannot assume all consumers visiting your website would have vast knowledge about different models and makes of cars.’
Valentine’s next retort was to enquire why a similar ad on the site for a Reliant Robin wasn’t also being called into question. ‘I’m glad you consider a DeLorean advert to be a valid complaint…But I wonder why you haven’t commented on censuring my Reliant Robin advert, too?’ she emailed back.
When the ASA’s response read that the the Robin ad simply hadn’t been complained about, Valentine did just that.
‘Lucy,’ read the email. ‘I would like to complain about the Reliant Robin advert on LingsCars.
‘Despite running the website, I have been tricked by myself into ordering one and now am dismayed to find out that it is not a real product, but a fake.
‘I insist you take action against me.’
The ASA has since requested for the DeLorean ads to be removed, though Valentine is yet to do so. No action has taken against those for the Reliant Robin.
Have you filled in our Car Dealer Power survey yet? It’s a great opportunity to have your say, and you could win one of seven great prizes! Click here to enter.