Travelodge has referred rivals Premier Inn to the Advertising Standards Agency, for what it says are misleading claims that Premier Inn is the “largest hotel operator in London”.
Travelodge says that a recent Premier Inn advert (featured in Property Week and Estates Gazette) claims that the group has 5,500 rooms in London, making it the largest operator. However Travelodge says that this figure “significantly overstates the true status of Premier Inn in the capital”, which it believes to be a total of 4,853 rooms.
Travelodge says its own brand offers 5,092 rooms in London, and believes that the Thistle brand has 5,422, both of which would be higher than Premier Inn’s figure should Travelodge be correct in its claim.
Travelodge has also made a complaint about the wording of the advert, in which it says Premier Inn asks developers and landowners to help the group “…extend our lead, up to the 2012 Olympics and beyond…”. Travelodge says that it has legally exchanged contracts on a further 22 hotels set to open by the 2012 Olympics, giving it a total of 7,302 rooms, and that it is its “strong belief that we will be the largest hotel brand in London by the time of the 2012 Olympics”.
A spokeswoman for Whitbread (owners of Premier Inn) said: ”Under the ASA guidelines Travelodge should be contacting us in the first instance and we have not been notified of any complaint. If we are contacted obviously we will respond to it with the facts.”
Report by Mark Caswell