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Travelodge makes formal complaint about Premier Inn's promotional campaign

25 November 2009

Travelodge has lodged a formal complaint with the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) over the £29-a-room Christmas promotional campaign run by its rival Premier Inn.

Travelodge complains that it is “very near impossible” for customers to find rooms on premierinn.com for £29.

The complaint from Travelodge comes at a time when an increasing number of companies are turning to promotions as they continue to attempt to attract more customers in the recession. Many hotel chains have responded to big falls in occupancy by cutting room rates or offering value-for-money promotions. However, there has to be a marketing budget allocated to such promotions to make them viable.

The main winner when it comes to promotions is the customer. Travelodge agrees that the hotel industry must offer great value for the customer; however they say that this must be without the caveats.

Under advertising codes of conduct if companies are unable to supply demand for a promotional offer because of an unexpectedly high response or some other unanticipated factor outside their control, they should are expected to offer substitute products/services.

Is the customer going to be the loser in the end if the ASA uphold this complaint? Companies may be discouraged from running promotions through fear that an offer may go further than the marketing budget that it allocates.

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