Via The Advertising Standards Authority of Ireland (ASAI)

The radio ad:

“At Ben Dunne gyms we won’t be beaten when it comes to price and quality. One month’s membership is available from €22.95. Yes, one month’s membership only €22.95. So join a Ben Dunne Gym today for €22.95 and get one month’s membership. It includes free classes, a full range of cv and weights plus a lot more. So log on to Ben Dunne gyms today and join for only €22.95. Terms and conditions apply.”

The complaint:

The complainant considered that the radio advertisement was misleading as it did not make any reference to a joining fee that applied to monthly memberships. The complainant had noted the reference to terms and conditions applying in the advertisement, however, he considered that the advertisement should have specifically mentioned that a joining fee applied.

Ben Dunne Gym response:

The advertisers stated that the advertisement had stated that membership was available “from €22.95 per month” and that it had stated that terms and conditions applied. They said that there were several terms related to the membership and it was not possible for them to include them all in a 20 or 30 second advertisement. They also said that the advertisement had referred listeners to their website where they had clearly stated their prices and the joining fee was made clear there as they are an online business.


The [ASAI] Complaints Committee noted that in order to avail of a monthly membership, a joining fee was applicable. The Committee noted that the advertisement had referred to terms and conditions applying. Whilst being cognisant of the limits of radio advertising, the Committee considered that a joining fee was a major condition that should have been specifically referenced in the advertising…

Action required:

The Complaints Committee told Ben Dunne Gyms to ensure that future similar advertisements included a reference to the required joining fee…

Ben Dunne Gyms (ASAI)

Thanks Jack Jones

21 thoughts on “Dunne Deal

  1. Bertie Blenkinsop

    Kinda like giving you the Florida penthouse suite but you need to bring your own hookers and coke.

  2. George

    “So log on to Ben Dunne gyms today and join for only €22.95” – the ruling is correct as you can’t do this.

  3. Daisy Chainsaw

    I won’t use any place that has a joining fee on top of membership. It’s a ripoff and a scam.

    1. Janet, I ate my avatar

      that’s how those gyms make the money, subscription and just a yearly bout of half-bottomed squats

      1. Lilly

        If I knew of a half-decent gym, I’d consider joining. I hate the dark 80’s disco for classes they all seem to have going on. Give me bright open spaces and natural light.

        1. Janet, I ate my avatar

          TNDO Fairview, no frills, no insta bunnies, decent skins, definitely no disco lights, has everything you could need, 25/month rolling contract

          1. Lilly

            Haha at the Insta bunnies Janet. A woman at work recently showed me her Instagram ‘blog’. Lots of pics of her in gym gear wearing pots of makeup. I’m finding it hard to take her seriously since. She’s not Irish so maybe something’s getting lost in translation.

          2. millie st murderlark

            No. I know a couple of Insta bunnies too. Doing it for show as opposed to any benefit, and always, always caked in make up.

            Absolutely no time for that if I’m at the gym. Unfortunately, I’m stuck paying €37pm in the local gym, which is only all right, but time/location constraints are a factor right now.

        2. Janet, I ate my avatar

          portmarnock has a new gym with windows looking over the coast,( don’t really see the point of a treadmill when you can actually run the coast) but lits of natural light, I am too frightened to even ask the cost, plus not sure I’d fit in

          1. Lilly

            Sounds perfect! Miles away from me though. If it takes off, they might take it south side. In the meantime, I’ll be dodging showers on the bike.

            You don’t have to fit in, do you? I’d just go, spin for half an hour, shower and out the door. If the staff are nice, bonus.

          2. Janet, I ate my avatar

            yeah I guess I just feel a bit more comfy when it’s rough and ready and you’re not there to be seen, like some folks, especially for weights section, it can be a bit of a show in some places, puts me off, now I haven’t darkened the door of portmarnock except the cafe on site and I already got that vibe, good food tho

          3. Lilly

            I’m oblivious to how ridiculous I’d look anywhere near weights. A tin of beans on either arm is about my limit.

  4. Skeptik

    What’s next, an airline that doesn’t advertise prices that include baggage fees and changes the rules frequently to suit themselves?

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