INTRODUCTION TO LAW OF FINANCIAL SERVICES
rittenden (1968), it was held that a person who advertised a bird for sale in a magazine was guilty of offering the bird for sale, an offence under the protection of birds Act 1954, because the advertisements was not an offer but an invitation to treat. Also displaying goods in a shop window or on a supermarket shelf is an invitation to treat as held in Fisher v Bell (1960) where a shopkeeper was found not guilty of the offence of offering an offensive weapon for sale by just displaying a flick knife in a shop window. (Emanuel, 2004)
However, if there is a definite promise to be bound, an advertisement is an offer. In Carlil V. Carbolic Smoke Ball Co, the case contained a definite promise to be bound if certain conditions were performed. The dependants were the makers of patent medics called a smoke ball which they claimed could cure and prevent a number of illnesses including influenza. They promised a reward of 100 to anyone who used to smoke ball as directed and caught influenza and said that to show their good faith, they had put 1000 into bank to pay any claims. Mrs. Carl used to smoke ball as directed and caught influenza but they refused to pay to reward claiming. Among other arguments that there was no contract because it was impossible to have a contract with the whole world. It was held that though one cannot contract with everyone-: “the entire world”, such was an offer mad to the entire world and it could ripen into a contract with anybody who could cure forward and perform to condition.
On that basis, most websites seem to be making advertisement e.g. in this case, the company had the rare French cuisine cookery books at a price significantly lower than the rest of the market. However, because it contained terms and conditions for delivery and other details, the advertisement ceases to be an invitation to treat and is an offer, i.e. there is a definite promise to be bound if certain conditions were performed. It is an offer made to the