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Holiday Inn Express breakfast – they can no longer call it ‘free’

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When is a free breakfast not a free breakfast?

This is not a trick question.

The UK Advertising Standards Authority has been pondering this question.  Holiday Inn Express has always advertised that you receive a ‘free’ breakfast when you stay there.  After a recent TV commercial aired, three people with probably too much time on their hands made a formal complaint.

Holiday Inn Express says that, since the price of your room is the same whether or not you eat breakfast in the morning, your breakfast is indeed free.

The ASA disagrees.

It believes that, since you cannot book a room without breakfast, you are essentially booking a package.  The price you pay is for room and breakfast.  The breakfast is therefore not free.

As the ASA statement says:  “we concluded that the claims “we give you a free breakfast” and “free breakfast” were misleading.”  Holiday Inn Express is now banned from using the word ‘free’ to describe its breakfast in the UK.  Your room is now ‘inclusive of breakfast’.

Words fail.

You can read more on the Daily Mail website here.


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  • When "free breakfast" is not free, according to UK agency says:

    […] Standards Authority bans misleading advertising: When is a free breakfast not a free breakfast? Integrity is doing the right thing when no one is watching. Reply With […]

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