Usain’s Virgin Media ad runs into trouble

September 18th, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

That Virgin Media advert with Usain Bolt in a variety of outfits has been banned after complaints from BT and Sky.

This one:

BT were first to get a bit narky, and complained to the ASA about the claim “you’ll be able to download five times faster than BT’s regular broadband”.

BT argued that the web page referred to in the Virgin Media ad did not provide sufficient information to verify the comparison, which is fair enough. Thanks for that BT, you little snitches.

The second complaint was made by both BT and Sky, arguing that Virgin Media’s claim about its speed was misleading, reckoning that it implied that customers would always be able to “download five times faster” than its rivals’ broadband customers.

The two companies argued that this wasn’t the case at all, and was dependent on the speeds of that area.

In its defence against the first complaint, Virgin Media claimed that the web page referred to in the ads relied on up-to-date data. This included information on the average speeds of its service at peak time and over 24 hours. The website also provided Ofcom data on broadband speeds of its competitors.

Defending itself against the second complaint, Virgin Media argued that the claim “download five times faster than Sky and BT’s regular broadband” would not be understood to be an absolute figure. Which, thanks to the pesky smallprint in the ad, made clear the circumstances in which consumers would be able to download five times faster.

It’s not the first Usain-based advert for Virgin Media to be banned. The ASA ruled that one in 2012 as  the company could not definitely deliver the superfast broadband. Full of fake promises. What are fake promises but LIES.

The ASA ruled against Virgin Media over both complaints.

Regarding the first complaint, the ASA said: “the information provided was not sufficient to ensure the details of the comparison could be verified”. In the second case, the ASA ruled that the claim “download five times faster than Sky and BT’s regular broadband” was misleading, and said the ad should have made it clear that the claim was based on an average, and not an absolute figure.

The ASA banned the ad from appearing again in its current form.

Parents want payday loans to do one

September 16th, 2014 1 Comment By Ian Wade

wonga ladies 300x282 Parents want payday loans to do oneThree-quarters of the parents want payday loan adverts banned before 9pm.

Research found that more than one third (34%) of children considered the adverts to be fun, tempting or exciting as they tend to peddle their wares via the medium of puppetry, such as those wankstains at Wonga.

Look at it. How can a child REFUSE TO BE DRAWN INTO A WORLD OF GERIATRIC FELT?

This group were significantly more likely to say they would consider using a payday loan, even if they’ve never heard of them.

The report by The Children’s Society calls for restrictions on advertising loans to join those already in place to protect children from adverts on gambling, alcohol, tobacco and junk food.

Matthew Reed, chief executive of The Children’s Society, said: “Through our frontline work, we see first-hand the devastating impact of debt on children’s lives.”

“We know it’s become a daily battle for families to pay the bills, meet the mortgage or rent payments, and find money for food or other basics. One setback or even a simple mistake can lead to a spiral of debt. Right now children are being exposed to a barrage of payday loan adverts, which put even more pressure on families struggling to make ends meet and to provide the very basics for their children. That’s why the law should be changed to ban these ads from TV and radio before the 9pm watershed.”

“It is crucial that children learn about borrowing and money from their school and family – not from irresponsible payday loan advertising. A significant majority of parents back a ban and it’s now time for the government to act.”

The survey questioned 1,065 adults and some 680 kids from the 13-17 age range.

2007 mad men 005 200x300 Moneysavingexpert sends misleading advert in email to suscribersThe Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) does a sterling job protecting us consumers from those scurrilous types who would seek to mislead us with not-quite-kosher adverts. But it seems their job is even harder than you would have thought- when they have to uphold complaints against consumer champions and their adverts…

The millionaire Martin Lewis’ Moneysavingexpert.com is the latest organisation who has had a complaint (partially) upheld against them. The ASA found that the adverts, for telecoms products, were misleading and omitted relevant information that would have helped the consumer make an informed decision. Still, on the bright side, the affiliate links worked just fine.

Moneysavingexpert was advertising a Talk Talk telephone package described as “B’band & phone equiv £15.25/mth + £75 Love2Shop (if line rent paid upfront)”,  and compared it with other telecommunications providers’ packages. The ASA was asked to investigate whether the advert was misleading because it would suggest to consumers that the new package included calls (it did not) and that there was a restriction on the amount of unbilled calls to a maximum of £20 that was not mentioned anywhere, nor were any details of call charges.

The ASA considered the overall impression created by the reference to “phone” in the headline, reinforced by the claims that followed and the image of a landline phone, was that the package comprised broadband and inclusive phone calls in the advertised price. Because phone calls were not included in the stated price and that was not made sufficiently clear, they concluded the claim was misleading and that the advert broke four regulations of the applicable CAP code.

The ASA also felt that considered consumers “would not expect to be restricted in the amount of calls they could make or that they would need to make a payment prior to the end of the billing period to have that restriction lifted.” As a result, they felt that the £20 “unbilled call limit” was a “significant condition” which should have been included in the ad, along with a reference that such calls would be charged at TalkTalk’s standard rates.

Two other complaints about the advert were not upheld by the ASA.

So next time you read a Moneysavingexpert email, purportedly issued to save you money, make sure you’re getting the full facts before you sign up for that super deal…

Spotify gets taken over by video ads

September 9th, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

spotify logo Spotify gets taken over by video adsSpotify for Brands have two new video advertising products! There’s a video takeover on the desktop version, and sponsored things on mobile.

Coca Cola, McDonald’s and Ford are just three of the launch partners.

The video takeover ads on the desktop site will be served as part of normal ad breaks, but will only be played if the client is in view. Which sounds a little creepy, no?

The sponsored sessions offer users the option of opting in to ad-free life by viewing a short video on their mobile solution.

Jeff Levick, who is the chief business officer of Spotify, explains himself: “Our audience is incredibly engaged so we are delivering an advertising experience that enhances their time spent on Spotify and connects them to the music and brands they love.”

“These new ad formats are perfect examples of the kind of high quality, high value experiences we want to offer our brand partners and our audience.”

Using the word ‘experience’ again, like some rebirthed cult member, is Ivan Pollard, senior vice president of connections at The Coca-Cola Company: “These new video ad units give us the opportunity to be a small part of people’s everyday passion for music and create better experiences across Spotify,”

“Spotify are great partners in helping us execute new ways of connecting with people on their platform leveraging data, intelligence and creativity to bring a little refreshment to an already uplifting experience with music.”

That’s literally a full house of data, units and experience-type cobblers there. Well done!

Peter goes to Iceland

September 5th, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

Orange one-time hitmaker Peter Andre is the new face of Iceland.

In a new advert for the frozen treat-based chain, he wanders around a branch picking out bargains and losing his shit to 89p pizzas, slightly oblivious to his clearly giddy fans who come up to him.

It’s the ITV2 constant’s first advert for the chain, following in the footsteps of Stacey Solomon and Kerry Katona. Oddly, for Andre, he doesn’t start blubbing like a big baby at any point.

Incredible times.

M&S introduce frozen food to posh people

September 4th, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

marks and spencer M&S introduce frozen food to posh peopleMarks & Spencer are launching their first ever range of frozen ready meals. That’ll upset some of the foodies who shop there and haven’t noticed that they’ve had ready-meals for a while as it is.

The range consists of 30 dishes, for either 2-4 people, and should be in selected stores from the end of September.

As with any ready meal, all the meals can be cooked from frozen and features ingredients that cope the best with the frozen wastes.

“We’re well known for our ready meals, and we felt that we could do our frozen prepared foods justice in terms of quality” said someone from M&S.

“This move was part of the expansion of our food ranges and has nothing to do with other retailers, especially not Iceland,” the spokesman added cattily, honest.

Still, no-one’s buying non-food items from M&S, so they might want to have a look at those arms of the business before trying to fix things with frozen pies.

The good, the bad: the Google

September 4th, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

google The good, the bad: the GoogleMixed fortunes for Google in the surveys, having been voted both Most Liked and Least Liked Media Brand in the annual I-MIS industry reputation survey.

According to the findings of 50 media and tech brands in the report, which is compiled by BSB Media, The Vision Network and the International Advertising Association (IAA), it found that many media brands were liked and disliked in equal measure by their industry colleagues.

Also faring similarly after Google is Facebook, although the amount of response the survey had to people not liking Facebook was greater than those who liked it.

The rest of the Top 5 sees LinkedIn, YouTube and BBC World News.

Their survey said that advertisers had strong attitudes towards Google, whereas agencies had the strongest views about Facebook.

Seeing as the report focused mostly on the internet, it showed that in one-to-one working relationships between media owners and clients, 74% of advertisers thought that face-to-face meetings were the most important way of communicating, with email at 54% and telephone calls 53%.

M&S go all ponce on new food advert

September 2nd, 2014 1 Comment By Ian Wade

Marks & Spencer have launched a new TV advertising campaign for its food.

The ‘Adventures in Imagination’ (which, if it involved the Body Talk hitmakers, would be even more amazing) slightly harks back to their soft-porny ‘Not Just Any…’ series of ads, with erotic cutting and gooey centres oozing just so.

Gnnnggg.

M&S has said that the ad is to “tease the nation’s increasingly discerning taste buds” and highlights the most in-demand food trends featured in the retailer’s autumn 2014 range, such as lush looking patisserie loveliness, top quality cuts, runny Scotch eggs and showcases the Kouign-amann, a traditional Breton cake that is a cross between a croissant and a brioche.

It’s also a rare opportunity to hear that most-streamed-song-of-the-year Clean Bandit number.

The unnecessarily lengthily titled M&S executive director of marketing and international Patrick Bousquet-Chavanne said: “Over the last decade, consumers’ culinary tastes have become more adventurous and Britain’s love affair with food has really ignited.”

“Our new campaign reflects this shift and uses a different language to the price-focused supermarkets. It brings to life the hundreds of new ideas we have in our food halls every month by showcasing the sensual and surprising aspects of food – like its textures and movement – in a modern, stylish and precision format.”

‘A different language’ – nice bit of shade there.

Paddy Power profits palaver

August 29th, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

Paddy Power Paddy Power profits palaverBookie news, and Paddy Power are the latest bookmaker to post disappointing half year profits.

The Dublin-based firm said pre-tax profits fell to €61.8million (£49.2million) in the six months to June 30th, while revenues were down 7% to €396.5million (£315.7million) compared to a year ago.

The pesky horses and football wins haven’t helped either.

However the company were optimistic that they’d gained new customers in the last few months, and was also still planning on expanding.

Punter wins on favourite horses was at 37% against an average of 35% between 2010 and 2013, and Premier League favourites won 64% compared to 35% in the same period.

These odds combined to drag the group’s win percentage down to 9.1 per cent from its long-term average of 10 per cent.

They will also expand their 305 shops by another 40 in the next year, regardless of new Government fixed levy rules. So, profits are down, but they’re still wildly rich. Not surprising for a bookmaker, eh?

What this all means in actuality is that we’re going to see a whole load of irritating publicity stunts. That’s the one thing that’s certain in all of this.

Crispwatch: Whisky & Haggis!

August 29th, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

We haven’t polled everyone, but we reckon you’d be hard pressed to find someone on this planet who doesn’t like crisps. Only sickos don’t like crisps.

Anyway, it pleases us to announce that there’s a new crisp on the scene, which is not like the others, namely Mackie’s Whisky & Haggis crisps.

Gie it laldy.

whisky crisps 375x500 Crispwatch: Whisky & Haggis!

And that’s not all, as it will soon be joined by Venison & Cranberry flavour too.

The Ridge Cut affairs are in Scottish Co-ops RIGHT NOW, and will appear in Tesco and Asda in October, so petition/ mildly riot accordingly.

It’s a limited edition at the moment, but if it kicks off, it may be added to the range full time.

George Taylor, managing director of Mackie’s at Taypack, said: “We have been delighted with the uptake of our Ridge Cut range thus far, with sales already in line with our core range.”

“We felt it was time to add a Scottish twist to the range as our Scottish flavours have always been very popular. We were particularly keen to try a whisky seasoning as Scotch is so renowned around the world. We tried various combinations and the whisky and haggis pairing came out on top. We are very excited to see the market’s reaction to the new flavour lines.”

The gauntlet has been thrown down, beat that England. Oh and if anyone could source us a box for “research”, we’ll be quite grateful.

Panic on the streets of Derby

August 22nd, 2014 2 Comments By Ian Wade

Jet2.com logo 300x110 Panic on the streets of DerbyMass fighting scenes in Derby, as a promotional stunt by an airline went horribly wrong.

A load of young women (why they had to women, but hey – patriachy) ran down the street dressed in red morph suits, brandishing Jet2 tickets.

The stunt was to celebrate five years of flying from East Midlands Airport.

Whereas the same stunt had gone relatively smoothly in Nottingham and Leicester, Derby saw reports of people tackling some of the promotional morphs to the ground, and general mayhem.

Comments on the Jet2.com Facebook page suggested the event turned a bit mob-like.

Jet2 said in a statement: ”We had three events across the East Midlands yesterday and while Leicester and Nottingham went smoothly, the giveaway in Derby generated a little more excitement than anticipated.”

“Whilst one or two of our team were a bit shaken, we took care to make sure everyone was OK.”

‘A little more excitement’ indeed.

Here’s some people on Facebook talking about what happened, with one person saying that the whole thing turned into a bit of a “Fight Club”. Helps pass the time doesn’t it?

77072666 tpjet2 Panic on the streets of Derby

Snapchat soon to be an ad-fest

August 20th, 2014 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

snapchat 300x300 Snapchat soon to be an ad festSnapchat is about to change the way it does things. Soon enough, you’ll be seeing ephemeral adverts, news and videos from brands, as well as the usual 5 second shots of people’s penises and boring videos of cats.

The company is working on a new service called Snapchat Discovery that will show ‘branded content’ to users.

It’ll inevitably end up with a bunch of people complaining about it on Twitter.

Apparently: “The product would let users read daily editions of publications as well as watch video clips of TV shows or movies by holding down a finger on the screen, like they do with photos and other messages on the app before disappearing.”

Of course, Snapchat need to make some money on their popular app and have gone to the people who like spending cash the most – advertising companies. Snapchat turned down a huge bid from Facebook who tried to take over it, and since Snapchat refused all offers, pretty much all messenger services decided that it’d be easier and cheaper to simply copy Snapchat’s product.

Snapchat Discovery looks like it’ll see the light of day in November, just in time for everyone to get swamped with Christmas adverts and the like.

ditto pic 300x219 Tumblr and Ditto: stalking your photos for brandsIn ‘web-stalking brand awareness reach’ news, Tumblr have teamed up with Ditto Labs. Ditto analyse photos posted on social media, and scan them for any brand-related data.

Basically anything can be deemed as data, from a brand of drink being drunkenly held aloft, to a sportswear label seen on a garment.

Apparently this deal will give advertisers the chance to see how they’re being perceived.

It’s a new way of research without badgering you on the street or filling in a form, but still feels a little stalkery.

But the futuristically named T.R. Newcomb, head of business development at Tumblr, stated: “If Coke wants to understand the nature of the conversation we can sift through and deliver it to Coke.”

He ominously added “Right now, we’re not planning to do anything ad-related.”

Yeah right. Either way, looks like Yahoo!, who bought Tumblr, are finally throwing a bit of weight around in a bid to start making more money on the blogging portal.

Volvic get the decorators in

August 15th, 2014 1 Comment By Ian Wade

Everyone! Volvic is having a redesign!

The Danone owned company have unveiled a new look for its complete range of water fluids and because water needs advertising, it will be relaunched with a £1 million pound campaign across press, TV and online.

volvic 459x500 Volvic get the decorators in

The blue labelling has now been abandoned in favour of a more pleasing green redrawn volcano.

It is said the redesign will help distinguish Volvic from the rest of the water market. And taps.

Alastair Strang, who is all brand lead for Volvic said, “We are thrilled to be bringing this new look for Volvic to British consumers. Consumer testing has shown us that this fresh new look differentiates Volvic from its competitors and has a much stronger stand-out on shelf.”

It’s all a bit Peckham Spring water to us.

2007 mad men 005 200x300 Virgin media ad banned for ‘misleading’ customers over potential savingsWe all know advertising is supposed to make you want to buy stuff, but we have a reasonable expectation that the adverts we are subjected to are not a bunch of outright lies. That’s what the Advertising Standards Agency is there for,right?

However, just because businesses can’t lie, doesn’t mean they aren’t found guilty of stretching the truth a little bit. Strictly speaking, you might consider it lying but the ASA calls it ‘misleading’. A new ruling from the ASA has just banned  a Virgin Media advert claiming that Sky customers could save over £400 a year by switching, when chances are, they actually couldn’t.

A regional press ad for Virgin Media Ltd compared Sky’s ‘The Family Bundle’ with Virgin Media’s ‘Premiere Collection’.  The ‘receipts’ shown in the advert listed the features and monthly total price of the respective packages. Sky’s Family Bundle was priced at £103.65 and Virgin Media’s Premier Collection at £67.99. The advert stated an “Annual saving with Virgin Media £427.92″.

The problem was not, actually, with the facts- while Virgin had handily included the cost of BT Sport, which is actually paid to BT rather than Sky- Virgin maintained that 100% of Sky customers who took the exact combination of services set out would achieve the claimed saving. Nor was this disputed by the ASA. Virgin also claimed that the trifling detail of the exact amount of consumers holding this particular combination of services did not affect the comparison being made or a consumer’s understanding of the price saving.

However, on this point the ASA disagreed, given that fewer than 0.1% of Sky customers did have those services, and could therefore possibly save over £400. The ASA noted that the ad was phrased conditionally, and that Virgin Media did not claim that all customers would save over £400, however the ASA felt that “it was necessary for a reasonable proportion of consumers to achieve the claimed saving,” adding that “using the comparison in this example, only a relatively small proportion of Sky customers would save to the degree claimed. “

As a result that advert was banned on the grounds of misleading by exaggeration. Moral of the story- don’t believe everything you read in the papers and do your own research when comparing costs of broadband and television services.