The Snooty Fox in Morval was ordered to remove online references to the award by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).
It comes after the watchdog was alerted to the hotel’s website, which on 4 August included an image with the AA logo and text “AA 4*”.
The complainant, who believed The Snooty Fox did not have the rating, challenged whether the ad was misleading.
The ASA says the hotel acknowledged the complaint, but did not submit a ‘substantive response’ to its enquiries.
The watchdog upheld the complaint and told The Snooty Fox not to claim or imply they had received a four-star rating if they had not.
“We considered that consumers would understand from the inclusion of the AA logo and star rating in the ad that The Snooty Fox had received a four star endorsement from the AA’s hotel rating scheme,” says The ASA in its ruling.
“The Snooty Fox did not provide any evidence that they had received that endorsement and the AA did not list the hotel on its website or state that it had awarded The Snooty Fox a four-star rating. We therefore concluded that the ad was misleading.”
The ASA adds it was concerned by The Snooty Fox’s ‘lack of substantive response and apparent disregard’ for advertising rules.
“We reminded them of their responsibility to provide a substantive response to our enquiries and told them to do so in the future,” says the ASA.
The Snooty Fox’s website no longer references an AA rating.