Duncan Bannatyne
Picture: The Rambling Man

Bannatyne Fitness has found itself on the wrong side of the Advertising Standards Authority rules.

The leisure company, which is headed up by businessman and Dragon’s Den star Duncan Bannatyne and has its headquarters in Darlington, has been told to change the wording on its website information in Rotherham after a complaint from a member of the public.

The user had complained that a page on the company’s website was misleading as the gym actually closed its doors 30 minutes earlier than the opening times advertised.

Today the ASA ruled that the advertisment must not appear again in its current form.

“We considered it likely that consumers who were interested in joining a health club or gym would visit the club’s website for information about its facilities and services, and that for some consumers the opening hours would be a particularly relevant factor in their decision about whether or not to enquire further about joining the club.

“We considered that in the absence of information to the contrary, consumers would understand that the facilities would be open for members’ use up until the stated closing time. We therefore considered that information that the facilities would close to members 30 minutes prior to the stated closing time constituted a significant limitation to the stated opening hours, which should be included in the ad. Because it was not, we concluded the ad breached the Code.”

The club had argued that: “The Club’s normal hours in which any facility within the Club are available to Members will be displayed at the Club in a prominent position and can be obtained from the manager upon request.”