Red Bull has got into trouble with Britain’s Advertising Standards Authority, after a “VIP Trip” for a competition prize winner, turned out to be more like a Carry On film. The Austrian drinks company advertised a “VIP Trip to Watch the Belgian Grand Prix” but the prizewinner complained to the Authority that this did not live up to his expectations, claiming that it was not properly administered and that the description “VIP” was misleading.
The adventures included being told about the trip at the very last minute; having to share a bed, despite a specific request for two single beds; and having to take their suitcases with them to the race because they needed to leave for the airport BEFORE the Grand Prix ended, because of the timing of their return flight. Red Bull attempted a defence, but it was rejected.
The complainant detailed that he and his brother were flown to Cologne in Germany, were in a hotel in Holland and had to take a return flight from Brussels in Belgium. Beyond being given the flights, they had to organise their own transportation.
The authority said that the promotion “excluded significant conditions and the promoter had not made available adequate resources to administer the promotion equitably or efficiently” and that the promotion “was misleading and breached the Code”.
The complainant also challenged the “VIP” description of the trip because the hotel did not have a spa (as he was told by the company) and the flights were on a budget airline. The tickets were for grandstand seats and not VIP tickets.
The authority agreed that the descriptions also breached the code.