• Sat. Jun 15th, 2024

Oxfordshire sausage firm taken to court over £400 advert


Aug 16, 2022

A Chalgrove sausage firm was taken to court by the publishers of a ‘fine foods’ magazine – over a £400 ad.

Supreme Sausages said it had been ‘bombarded’ with telephone calls asking it to advertise in the glossy magazine’s April issue, eventually agreeing in September to take out a full-page advertisement.

But the company never sent publishers Calvert Studios UK Ltd trading as IMS Publications any artwork – informing them in February, after ‘reviewing its finances in January’ and deciding it was ‘not in a position’ to fund the commercial.

Representatives for Calvert told Oxford County Court on Friday that that the banger business had pulled-out after the 90 day cancellation period set out in the terms and conditions and, effectively, too late for the marketeers to find an alternative advertiser. The magazine’s publishers were forced to reprint another company’s ad in the space that had been set aside for Supreme Sausages.

Recorder Geraint Jones QC, hearing the small claims case, rapped Calvert for its approach to the terms and conditions. He was ‘not satisfied’ that the firm had discharged its proper duties by simply including a link in an email to its customer sending them to a webpage containing the full T&Cs.

But the judge found in favour of the marketeers and ordered that Supreme Sausages pay £395 in damages as well as court and trial costs of £155.

He ruled that Calvert had lost the chance to resell the ad space to another, due to the late notification by the butchers that it no longer wanted to advertise.

The judge was told that ‘hypothetically’ Calvert could have sold the space had another company come to them on the day Supreme Sausages’ cancellation. But a company representative said: “It’s never happened. It takes months of hard work to sell advertising and the advertising industry is known as being the hardest sell there is.”

No representative from Supreme Sausages attended the hearing, which went ahead in the defendant’s absence.

However, in court papers obtained by this newspaper following an application to the judge, the company strenuously denied liability.

Janice Garnish, for the butchers’, wrote that they had been ‘bombarded with telephone calls’ and eventually agreed last September to take out an advertisement.

“After reviewing our finances in January we were not in a position to fund this, so a call was made to inform them we would not require this only to be told we had agreed to their terms and conditions and the fee was due,” she added.

On ‘no occasion’ had the firm been directed to the magazine’s terms and conditions, she said. Supreme Sausages said it had not completed the online booking form.

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This story was written by Tom Seaward. He joined the team in 2021 as Oxfordshire's court and crime reporter.

To get in touch with him email: Tom.Seaward@newsquest.co.uk

Follow him on Twitter: @t_seaward