Better Business Bureau Doesn’t ‘Like’ Coastal Contacts’ Facebook Campaign

By
VANCOUVER, British Columbia—In response to a recommendation by the National Advertising Division (NAD) of the Council of Better Business Bureaus, online retailer of eyeglasses and contact lenses, Coastal Contacts Inc. (TSX: COA) (Stockholm: COA) revised a promotion that offered consumers “Free Glasses” for “liking” its Facebook page.

The NAD made this recommendation, and others, after reviewing offers of free glasses, free shipping and savings of 70 percent and over 70 percent made by Coastal Contacts. The claims at issue were challenged before NAD by 1-800 Contacts, Inc. NAD noted its appreciation of Coastal Contacts’ voluntary discontinuation of the challenged savings claims.

In addition, NAD reviewed claims that referenced the manufacturer suggested retail price (MSRP) as well as the advertiser’s references to the number of people on Facebook that have “liked” the Coastal Contacts Facebook page and the process through which the advertiser obtained these consumer endorsements. The “Free Glasses” promotion, which Coastal voluntarily revised, originally stated “Like This Page!…So you too can get your free pair of glasses!” Although additional terms and conditions applied to this offer, this information was not available to consumers until after they entered the promotion by “liking” Coastal’s Facebook page.

NAD made additional recommendations regarding Coastal’s future advertising of “free” merchandise to consumers as well as statements made to investors clarifying its total number of Facebook “likes” or “fans.” Finally, NAD recommended that, in addition to discontinuing the use of an MSRP, the advertiser also discontinue the use of a suggested retail price for its private label brand glasses.

“Coastal Contacts welcomes the recommendations from NAD,” Terry Vanderkruyk, VP of corporate development for Coastal Contacts, told VMail. “We have worked closely with NAD to ensure that we are in compliance with all of their recommendations. As we break new ground in finding new and innovative ways to reach our customers we want to make sure we operate in a clear and transparent manner. In order to continue to lead and transform the way we interact with our customers the next campaign is always influenced by the experiences and lessons learned from the previous campaign.”

Founded in 2000, Coastal Contacts services customers in more than 150 countries through its family of websites, including Coastal.com, ClearlyContacts.ca, Lensway.com, Lensway.co.uk, Lensway.se, ClearlyContacts.com.au, ClearlyContacts.co.nz, Contactsan.com, and Coastallens.com.