If the diamonds aren’t as old as they claim, is love really forever?
A diamond may be forever‚ but a jewellery chain’s good intentions only last seven years.
The Advertising Standards Authority of SA (ASA) plans to sanction Browns for re-introducing the phrase "Trusted since 1934" into its ads‚ after being ordered to stop making the claim in 2011.
Rival jeweller Shimansky said Browns’ use of the phrase — in a Sunday Times advertisement on January 28 — amounted to a flagrant disregard for the code of the ASA and its 2011 ruling, which said that as Browns did not exist in 1934‚ any claim of being trusted since that period was clearly untrue and misleading.
In the offending ad‚ said Shimansky‚ Browns introduced its "vintage collection" and said: "At a time when true love was forever‚ this collection was inspired by the love story of our founder and my grandpa Jack. He and Granny Kate were married aged 24 and 21 back in 1932‚ shortly before they opened their first jewellery store in downtown Johannesburg."
But it said Browns was using the banned phrase "Trusted since 1934" on a large scale‚ including in magazines‚ on the internet and on a billboard in the main arrival hall of Cape Town International Airport.
The authority directorate said: "Despite all reasonable efforts to elicit a response from [Browns]‚ no response was received. The directorate therefore had no alternative but to rule on the matter based on the information provided by [Shimansky]."
It instructed Browns to immediately withdraw advertising that breached the 2011 ruling‚ and gave it 10 days to "comment on whether or not it believes sanctions are appropriate‚ and if so‚ which sanctions".
It added: "After this‚ [Browns] will be afforded an opportunity to address the directorate on this issue. Once the comments have been received‚ the directorate will rule on the issue of sanctions in accordance with the code."