Ad regulator rules Mr D’s watermelon advert was misleading after shopper’s complaint

Consumer Colijn van Bergen received a watermelon slightly bigger than his hand. Picture: Screenshot

Consumer Colijn van Bergen received a watermelon slightly bigger than his hand. Picture: Screenshot

Published May 14, 2024


A consumer who hauled Mr Delivery to the Advertising Regulatory Board after he received a small watermelon which was slightly bigger than the size of his hand, has won his case.

Consumer Colijn van Bergen told the ARB that he ordered a watermelon from Pick n’ Pay and a magnum ice-cream from the Engen garage via the Mr D app which is part of the Takealot group.

The man complained that the advertisements on the Mr D app did not match the items that he received.

“The complainant stated that the app showed a picture of a large watermelon slice, and he received a watermelon slice slightly bigger than his hand.”

Van Bergen also complained that the ice cream from the Engen Quickshop via the Mr D app was advertised as 110ml and what he received was 100ml.

According to the Directorate of the ARB it is assumed from the previous responses from the Takealot group that they are not a member of the ARB.

In its ruling the ARB said:

“In respect of the size of the watermelon, the Directorate appreciates that the images of fresh fruit or vegetables may not always be true to size.

“In other words, the images may appear to be distorted or misleading when it comes to the size of the actual product.

“The size of the watermelon in isolation is therefore not the problem. However, the advertisement on the app states that the watermelon is “R24.99 per kilo”.

The Directorate said in essence van Bergen ordered and paid for R24.99 worth of watermelon.

“Customers who pay this price would reasonably expect to receive a kilogram of watermelon.”

The ARB said the watermelon does not appear to be one kilogram.

“The advertiser has submitted no contradictory information.”

The ARB further ruled that if the watermelon had a price of just R24.99 the consumer would have understood that the size might be a matter of luck.

They also found that the Magnum is 100ml and could be attributed to a typo error.

“However, the Directorate received no response to the merits of this complaint. It is also currently unable to find any available Magnum ice creams at Engen stores on the Mr D app, so is unable to check whether the error is corrected.”

The Directorate said it has no choice but to conclude that the advertising in question was misleading.

Members of the ARB were instructed not to accept advertising for the Advertiser in its current format.

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