Merlin Entertainments, the operator of several leading leisure attractions including Alton Towers, Legoland, SeaLife and Blackpool Tower, has been ordered to take down online pages promoting discounts after more than 20 complaints from users to the advertising watchdog.
The entertainment company, which operates across 22 countries, attracted the scrutiny of the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) over two emails and pages on the Merlin Entertainments Group website about discounts on annual passes.
Merlin’s UK theme park attractions include Alton Towers, Thorpe Park, Blackpool Tower and Chessington World of Adventures, as well as the Heide Park Resort in Germany and Gardaland Resort in Italy.
The ASA received 22 complaints about the offer being misleading. In a ruling issued today the ASA said the ads must not appear again in their current form.
“We told Merlin Entertainments Group Ltd to ensure they held sufficient evidence to substantiate their marketing claims, that they did not misleadingly imply that their prices were valid for a longer period of time than they were, and to ensure their savings claims were accurate and reflected a genuine saving.”