Key Points:

A dating website which each day for two months warned users that it was about to close down has been told by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) that its claim is misleading.

A user complained that lovecalculator.co.nz had a notice posted on the website for two months which warned that the site would be closed down "in the next few days" as it could no longer pay the hosting fees.

"This is your last chance to calculate the name of your Love Soulmate," the site urged.

Responding to the complaint, the company operating the website - Cellular Dreams (NZ) - admitted that it was aiming to attract more people to the service with the warning.

However, it said the claim that it was about to shut down was "completely legitimate" as its profit margins had dropped dramatically.

It had taken steps to cut costs, but every day the decision had to be taken whether or not to shut down the service, the company said.

It had now removed the warning as a result of the complaint.

The ASA upheld the complaint, saying that a two-month period was too long to keep up such a warning, which could be seen as an exaggerated claim in order to capture a consumer.

It ruled that the term "this is your last chance" was a misleading claim and breached the authority's code of ethics.

- NZPA