Advertisements are generally treated as invitation to treat (Harris v. Nickerson ). There are certain exceptions to this the reasoning based on intention and certainty. (Carlill v Carbolic Smoke Ball Co, a case on unilateral offer.)1.
An offer on the other hand has been defined as an unequivocal willingness by a party known as the offeror to enter into a contract on stated terms and provided that such terms would be accepted by the person to whom the offer is made (offeree) a contract would come into existence.
Acceptance has been defined as the unconditional acquiesce to the terms that were laid down by the offeror. The important aspects of acceptance are that it should be unconditional and must be communicated to the. ( Holwell Securities v. Hughes2) . A number of exceptions have developed in respect of communication, one of them being the postal rule, whereby acceptance takes place as soon as a letter is posted. As far as instantaneous means of communication is concerned it can be said that the postal rule in Adams v. Lindsell3 of acceptance is not applicable and thus actual communication of acceptance needs to be done (Mondial Shipping and Chartering BV v. Astarte Shipping Ltd4).
As far as silence constituting to be acceptance is concerned, the courts have been consistent in their approach that silence would not constitute as acceptance and acceptance needs to be communicated or can occur by way of conduct. (Felthouse v. Bendley)5 .
The advertisement that was placed cannot be classified as a unilateral offer as the facts do not show the requisite certainty and unconditional offer, thus it is evident that the advertisement is an invitation to treat.
In line with the discussion with Mary, the offer of Rose was made and communicated to Mary, however, the problem lies in the fact that even though there Mary responded and accepted the offer, it was never communicated to Rose and so in line with authorities on instantaneous communication it can be concluded