Travelodge has today referred Premier Inn to the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) over its misleading claim that it is the ‘largest hotel operator in London”.
In recent adverts featured in both Property Week and Estates Gazette, Premier Inn claimed to have 5,500 rooms in London, making it the largest operator in London. The company also asked developers and landowners to help them “...extend our lead, up to the 2012 Olympics and beyond…”.
Travelodge believes that the stated room number of 5,500 significantly overstates the true status of Premier Inn in the capital, miss-leading developers and landowners into believing the company is bigger than it is.
Consequently, Travelodge has made three specific complaints to the ASA concerning the advert:
1. “Premier Inn already has around 5,500 rooms in London…”
Travelodge strongly believes that this claim is inaccurate.
Its research indicates that Premier Inn has 4,853 rooms within London, some way short of the 5,500 claim in the advert.
2. “...we’re the largest hotel operator in London.”
Given that Travelodge believes Premier Inn to have 4,763 rooms in the capital, this statement is again deliberately misleading. Travelodge has 5,092 rooms open at present in London and it is the company’s understanding that the Thistle brand presently has 5,422.
3. “...we need your help to identify even more site to help us extend our lead, up to the 2012 Olympics and beyond…”
Travelodge has legally exchanged contracts on a further 22 hotels set to open by the 2012 Olympics, giving it a total of 7,302 rooms. Given this, there appears no way that Premier Inn can meet their claim of being the largest hotel operator in London at the time of the Olympics.
Paul Harvey, Managing Director for Development at Travelodge, said: “I was rather surprised when I saw the Premier Inn advert claiming that they are the biggest hotel operator in London when, simply put, they are not. “This advert has misled developers into believing that Premier Inn is bigger than it actually is and has growth prospects which again, are not based in reality. “Travelodge has exchanged on a further 22 properties in London that are set to open by the time of the Olympics, giving us 7,302 rooms. “Unless Premier Inn can publicly prove otherwise, we trust they will now stop both running adverts and claiming in interviews that they are the biggest hotel operator in London, both now and in 2012.”