Complaint: 17/042

Ignite Light Show, website

Details

Complainants
M. Chow
advertisers
Ignite Light Show
Year
2017
Media
Digital Marketing
Product
Entertainment
Clauses
Decision
Not Upheld
ASA Links
Website Listing
Decision Document

Document





COMPLAINT NUMBER
17/042
COMPLAINANT
M Chow
ADVERTISER
Ignite Light Show
ADVERTISEMENT
Ignite Light Show, website
DATE OF MEETING
28 February 2017
OUTCOME
Not Upheld


SUMMARY

The Ignite Light Show website advertisement promoted an Ignite Show scheduled for
Auckland on January 21, 2017, with a wet weather date of January 22, at the Centre Field of
the Ellerslie Racing Club with gates opening at 5pm and closing at 11.55pm.

The Complainant was concerned that none of the acts advertised to take place at the event
occurred and the company had failed to provide a refund to the Complainant or to respond to
their direct emails.

The Complaints Board said it was clear that the Complainant had not seen the acts they had
seen advertised and had decided that they had not happened at all.

The Complaints Board's role was to consider whether the advertisement was misleading.
They held that it was not because the Advertiser had intended to provide all of the
entertainment outlined in the advertising but the weather had made a number of the events
unsafe.

Accordingly, the Complaints Board ruled the complaint was Not Upheld.

[No further action required]

Please note this headnote does not form part of the Decision.



COMPLAINTS BOARD
DECISION

The Chair directed the Complaints Board to consider the advertisement with reference to
Basic Principle 4 and Rule 2 of the Code of Ethics. This required the Complaints Board to
consider whether the advertisement had been prepared with a due sense of social
responsibility to consumers and to society and whether it contained any statement or visual
presentation or created an overall impression which directly or by implication, omission
ambiguity or exaggerated claim was misleading or deceptive, was likely to deceive or
mislead the consumer, made false and misleading representation, abused the trust of the
consumer or exploited their lack of experience or knowledge. (Obvious hyperbole,
identifiable as such, is not considered to be misleading.)

The Complaints Board ruled the complaint was Not Upheld




17/042
The Complaint
The Complaints Board first considered the concerns of the Complainant who believed the
advertising for the Ignite Light Show was false since none of the advertised events occurred
on the night and the company had failed to provide a refund.
The Complainant reported that the event was advertised on three websites, Grabone,
Ticketek and the Ignite Light Show website but did not happen. The Complainant said in
part: "A replacement event has also not been offered. The company has failed to respond to
any direct emails I've provided."

The Advertiser's Response
The Complaints Board turned to the response from the Advertiser, Ignite Light Show. The
Advertiser said the show was held in the inner circle of the Ellerslie Racecourse, Auckland
on January 21 based on weather information that indicated scattered showers would occur
late in the evening or early the next morning and after the show. Gates opened at 5pm with
the first entertainment, a clown show, at 6pm.

The Advertiser stated in part: "We were monitoring the weather closely and getting updates
as the night went on. Unfortunately due to the winds picking up the bouncy castles were
unable to be inflated due to safety reasons and this call was made by the bouncy castle
owner. The wind also affected the cold balloon inflation which also could not happen due to
safety issues. This decision was made by the Waikato Balloon Club. We arranged for
individual fire dancers to entertain in the absence of the cold air bal oon inflation." The
Advertiser said when they learned the bad weather would arrive earlier they brought
forward the "basket burn" which was followed by performances by Highly Flammable,
individual fire dancers and a laser show. The arrival of a "weather bomb" found some
spectators braving it out in the inner circle while others sought shelter in the grandstand or
public bar and others left. The Advertiser said the show was designed to be best viewed
from the inner circle where the entertainment was performed. The Advertiser said the
"weather bomb" was out of their control and they had tried to provide the best show they
could under the circumstances. Images on the Ignite Light Show website were not fake,
there was video footage taken on the night and the company had invoices from contractors
and entertainers who performed. The Advertiser said the show was not a scam as the
Complainant had attested. The Advertiser said: "... if the extreme weather bomb had not hit
Auckland as hard and fast as it did that night the event would have run to the exact
timetable advertised. We tried to provide the best show we could under the
circumstances..."

The Advertiser acknowledged that the Complainant had requested a refund saying most of
the acts did not perform. The Advertiser said they had sent the Complainant three
explanatory emails in reply to the Complainant's emails and included these in their
response.

The Complaints Board Discussion
The Complaints Board said it was clear that the Complainant had not seen the acts they
had seen advertised. The Complaints Board accepted some acts did not happen because
of safety issues brought on by strong winds and a downpour that had not been anticipated.
It noted the advertisement said the show was best viewed from the inner circle of the venue
which was exposed to the inclement weather and from which some spectators had
obviously moved to avoid being drenched.

The Complaints Board's role was to consider whether the advertisement was misleading.
The Complaints Board agreed the Advertiser had intended to provide all of the
entertainment outlined in the advertising and the weather had made a number of the events
unsafe.

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17/042
The Complaints Board said the website advertisement was not misleading. It agreed that
the website had included information about the importance of safety and the risk of some
events being impacted by weather alerting consumers to possible limitations for the show.
The Complaints Board also noted the weather that hit Auckland the night of the event was
referred to as a 'weather bomb' and could be considered an extreme event. The
Complaints Board said while the advertisement was not misleading, the Complainant had
raised issues relating to a refund and communication from the Advertiser. However, these
were matters of service and outside the jurisdiction of the Complaints Board.

The Complaints Board said the advertisement was not misleading and had been prepared
with the due sense of social responsibility required by the Code of Ethics.

The Complaints Board ruled to Not Uphold the complaint.



DESCRIPTION OF ADVERTISEMENT

The Ignite Light Show website advertisement was for an Ignite show scheduled for
Auckland on January 21 2017, with a wet weather date of January 22, at the Centre Field of
the Ellerslie Racing Club with gates opening at 5pm and closing at 11.55pm. The
advertisement described "mind -blowing laser light shows through the night. Hot air Balloon
night glow choreographed to music on dusk, nail biting fire dancers throughout the night.
This event is for the whole family to come and enjoy with carnival rides and bouncy castles
on site along with mobile caterers and entertainers."

The advertisement listed the first entertainment of the night as "6pm-7pm clown/fire
performance for the kids. Bring the kids and let them enjoy the fun." The advertisement
indicated this would be followed at 7pm by the cold inflation balloon, 9.05pm by the start of
inflation of up to six hot air bal oons, 9.15 by the "hot air balloon night glow performed to
music, 9.50pm by a performance by Highly Flammable and 10.20pm by solo fire dancers
and a laser light show with music.

Disclaimers in the advertisement said no alcohol could be brought to the event, that hot air
balloons could only be inflated if weather permitted and if inflation was not possible the
bal oonists would entertain with a "burn to music." Disclaimers included that the "Ignite Light
Show wet weather date will be held on the 22nd Jan 2017 please check for notifications by
Ticketek, IGNITE Light Show facebook and webpages."

COMPLAINT FROM M CHOW

Ignite Light Show provided false advertising of the light show which was supposed to occur
on 21 January 2017 (Saturday).

None of the advertised events have occurred, and the company fails to provide a refund.
This event was advertised in three areas:

1) Grabeone https://new.grabone.co.nz/events/entertainment/p/media-shepherd
2) Ticketet http://premier.ticketek.co.nz/shows/show.aspx?sh=IGNITELI17
3) the company's website: http://ignitelightshow.co.nz/auckland/ They have also posted
fake images of the events which did not occur on the day on facebook. A replacement event
has also not been offered. The company has failed to respond to any direct emails I've
provided. More than 1000 people have witness this disgusting behavior/scam.

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17/042
CODE OF ETHICS

Basic Principle 4: All advertisements should be prepared with a due sense of social
responsibility to consumers and to society.

Rule 2 Truthful Presentation: Advertisements should not contain any statement or
visual presentation or create an overall impression which directly or by implication,
omission, ambiguity or exaggerated claim is misleading or deceptive, is likely to
deceive or mislead the consumer, makes false and misleading representation,
abuses the trust of the consumer or exploits his/her lack of experience or knowledge.
(Obvious hyperbole, identifiable as such, is not considered to be misleading).

RESPONSE FROM ADVERTISER: IGNITE LIGHT SHOW

Background:
On 21st January 2017 the Ignite Light Show was held in the inner circle of the Ellerslie
Racecourse, Auckland.

We made the decision to proceed with the show on the advertised date based on the
weather information we had at the time which was that scattered showers were expected
late in the evening/early Sunday morning which would be after the show had finished. On
that basis gates opened at 5pm with the first entertainment for the kids at 6pm (clown show).

The public had been invited to "bring a picnic" and enjoy the carnival atmosphere with the
clown show, bouncy castles and other amusement rides. We were monitoring the weather
closely and getting updates as the night went on, unfortunately due to the winds picking up
the bouncy castles were unable to be inflated due to safety reasons and this call was made
by the bouncy castle owner. The wind also affected the cold balloon inflation which also
could not happen due to safety issues, this decision was made by the members of the
Waikato Balloon Club. We arranged for individual fire dancers to entertain in the absence of
the cold air balloon inflation. As the evening progressed the weather was changing rapidly,
we learned that bad weather was now looking like it would arrive earlier. Reacting to this we
brought forward the basket burn choreographed to music by half an hour (a basket burn was
advertised should it be too windy to inflate the balloons). This was followed by performances
by Highly Flammable, individual fire dancers and a Laser show. By this time the bad
weather had arrived much earlier than expected and much more extreme and we found
ourselves hit by a "weather bomb". While some public braved it out in the inner circle others
chose to seek shelter in the grandstand, Ellerslie Racecourse public bar and some others
chose to leave the grounds. The show was designed to be best viewed from the inner circle
as our site map showed on our website.

M. Chow contacted us requesting a refund stating that most of the acts did not perform at all.
I corresponded with them confirming that the acts did perform and to date sent them 3
emails regarding this (email correspondence between M. Chow and Ignite Light Show
representative attached). As the entertainment was advertised and performed in the inner
circle of the racecourse it is an individuals decision if they wish to leave this area and not
view the entertainment that was performed.

We in no way have passed off "fake" images of the night on Facebook or any other forums.
Images shown on our website for the Ignite Show 21st Jan 2017:
http://ignitelightshow.co.nz/auckland/ and any other public forums we posted on are from the
actual night, we also have video footage to support this. As well we have invoices from each
of our contractors/entertainers who performed on night which we have paid in full.

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17/042
We totally understand the disappointment of some of those who attended however we do not
believe that we have falsely advertised in any way. This was not a scam as M. Chow has
stated in the complaint, if the extreme weather bomb had not have hit Auckland as hard and
fast as it did that night the event would have run to the exact timetable advertised. We tried
to provide the best show we could under the circumstances however there is always a risk
with running outside events and an unexpected weather bomb was totally out of our control
especially due to how fast this came in.

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