Pret told to review drink subscription adverts after complaints

People walk past the Pret A Manger in Ladbroke Grove, Notting Hill, in west London.
People walk past the Pret A Manger in Ladbroke Grove, Notting Hill, in west London.

Customers made about 5,000 complaints to Pret about the £20-a-month subscription, including criticism about not being able to get smoothies using the deal

Published

Sandwich and coffee chain Pret a Manger has been told that it should look at how it advertises its monthly subscription service after reports of complaints from customers.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said it had told Pret to “consider reviewing” its advertising campaign for the £20-a-month subscription.

Pret subscribers can choose five drinks, including coffees, teas, frappes and hot chocolates, every day as part of the deal by scanning a code at checkout.

The ASA said: “Following a handful of complaints, we sent an advice notice to Pret suggesting that they consider reviewing the ads for their subscription service.

“We noted that their ads should not state or imply that the service was available in all store locations, or that it covers their entire range of products if that wasn’t the case.

“An advice notice is where we consider that there are potential problems under our advertising rules but do not consider the issues raised are so significant as to warrant a full formal investigation.”

However, the advice notice likely means that the chain will not face any more action from officials.

They looked into the complaints, but found they did not warrant a full investigation.

Customers complained to the BBC that they were often unable to get smoothies on the deal, as many shops said they were unable to make them.

The broadcaster said that customers had made about 5,000 complaints to Pret about the deal, which was launched a little over a year ago.

“We will not seek an assurance of compliance or contact the advertiser again regarding the matter,” the ASA said.

“We will also write to the complainant to explain the action we have taken.”

“We encourage anyone with concerns about any ads they’ve seen to get in touch.”