Confectionery giants Cadbury has been condemned by shoppers for launching a competition to find a £10,000 creme egg - despite the promotion not starting until January.
Outraged chocolate lovers posted photos online of shop displays advertising the competition to find the white creme egg and win the £10k.
Many had already shelled-out to buy the 60p eggs in the hope of finding the elusive white one.
But small print on the display states the white eggs will not be distributed until January 2019, meaning the competition is impossible to win until then.
Reddit user Arjun Binning posted a picture of the caption: “A £10,000 giveaway if you find the white egg to trick people into buying it, however the white eggs aren’t in circulation until 2019 as said in the small print.”
The popular competition, first launched in January 2018, offered £2,000 to the lucky person who found white chocolate beneath their egg’s foil wrapping.
The latest promotion - in shops a month early - sees the top prize rise to £10,000.
But user Nesfor noticed the prizes were different too, saying: “the fine print says there are 111 white eggs, and only one of them is worth the £10,000.
“The rest are worth £1000, £100, or £50. So you could get a white egg and only get £50.”
One worker at a Bristol newsagents, who did not wish to be named, said they received the new display advertising promoting the competition “about a week ago”.
A spokesperson for Cadbury said: “All our Easter range will be available in major retailers after New Year’s Day.
“However, as some stores know that people can’t wait to get their hands on Easter products, they may decide to stock the product before Christmas.
“But as the terms and conditions state - the hunt for the White Creme Egg will not launch until 1st January 2019.”
Cadbury has recently just lost a trademark battle over its distinctive purple packaging. The chocolate company was attempting to update an existing trademark so that it would encompass a wider range of confectionery but The Court of Appeal ruled against Cadbury.
In 1995, Cadbury trademarked the shade Pantone 2685C. This still stands, and it includes chocolate bars and tablets. The distinctive shade of purple is world famous.
But the company’s more recent attempt to trademark the shade so that it “applied to the whole visible surface, or being the predominant colour applied to the whole visible surface, of the packaging of the goods” was rejected as it wasn’t clear enough.
In other words, it appears Cadbury wanted to trademark the colour purple in any form, whether a minor part of packaging or major, and wanted to be able to have a monopoly on the shade with all products, including the likes of cakes, drinks, and sweets other than chocolate bars.