Posts Tagged ‘asa’
The Advertising Standards Authority have decided to start testing whether alcohol adverts are breaking the rules when it comes to exposing minors to the delights – I mean, dangers – of booze.
It’s in response to a report by Ofcom earlier this year that suggested that children may still be exposed to alcohol adverts – for example on plus one channels, or when gawping at Saturday night telly.
As a result of the report, the ASA has already been investigating 1009 possible breaches in the TV schedules. And from next year, it’s also going to assess the impact that changing viewing habits have on children’s exposure to alcohol advertising. As part of the clamp down, broadcasters will be given strict rules about what ads to run on time-shifted channels and shows that go on for bloody ever, like the X-Factor.
Maybe the ASA should also try to work out whether watching a lovely long glug of Baileys going over an ice cube makes kids mad for the booze in later life. Because I doubt it.
The advert said: “There’s no end of things around the home that can disrupt your wireless internet”, before showing images of mobile phones and radios. However, someone (probably overweight and with adenoids) complained that mobiles and radios don’t generally cause significant Wi-Fi interference.
Therefore, the advert must be misleading.
The ASA ruled: “We were concerned that the ad prominently featured a ringing mobile phone, when using such a device for telephone calls would not cause interference of the kind described.
We further noted that the ad also featured images of radios, which Ofcom had also advised did not pose a particular problem in terms of interference.”
“Whilst we acknowledged that the evidence supplied by BT showed that some non-Wi-Fi household devices could potentially affect the performance of Wi-Fi devices, we considered that the inclusion of images of mobile phones and radios implied that consumers who had those items in their homes may experience problems due to interference when we had not seen any evidence to that effect. We therefore concluded that the ad was misleading.”
If the ASA could promptly ban all BT television adverts with those affluent 42-year-old students, that’d be great too. Ironically, the main protagonist in the commercials is exactly the kind of berk who would complain about an advert in the manner above.
The Advertising Standards Authority is looking at banning a bus thanks to a load of wimps complaining about an advert on the side for being too scary. The complaints relate to Tulleys Farm Shocktober Fest, which is currently on over one hundred buses.
Stuart Beare, organiser of the Tulleys Farm Shocktober Fest event, said: ”The image of the zombie girl on our advertising is no worse than many images you’ll see at this time of year in newspapers and magazines, on the Halloween costumes in the supermarket aisles and even on kids’ TV programmes.”
“We have been running our Halloween events for over 15 years, and they are extremely popular, with up to 5,000 people a night going through the six haunted houses and rides.”
“We are waiting for the Advertising Standards Authority to come back to us with their judgment to see if we have to take the ads off the buses.”
An Advertising Standards Authority spokeswoman said: “We have received three complaints about the Tulleys Farm Halloween bus ads so far. We had complaints about the same ad last year, and we did not find that there were grounds for an investigation. While it’s possible the outcome will be the same this time, we will thoroughly assess each complaint we receive at this point until a decision has been made.”
Some people deserve to be frightened to a very literal death for being too wimpish, so we can only hope the ASA ignore this pointless bluster.
Fairy Liquid’s age old claim that it lasts twice a long as other brands has been contested by its closest rival, Persil, who say that the latest ads for Fairy are false and their claims are unsubstantiated. But the ASA has overruled Persil, after they found that Fairy really DOES last twice as long.
Persil got in a lather over its new campaign, featuring the slogan ‘Fairyconomy’, and a picture of bottle of Fairy with an equals sign – followed by a photo of two bottles of the ‘next best-selling brand.’ According to Nielsen data, that brand is Persil.
Persil challenged the ads, saying that it was an unfair comparison, and no mention was made of the actual size of the bottle of Fairy.
But the ASA threw out the complaint, saying that Procter and Gamble could prove it: ‘We sought expert advice on the robustness of the evidence provided by Procter & Gamble. The expert considered the test reflected the practices of consumers and demonstrated that Fairy lasted at least twice as long as Persil. On that basis, we considered the claims that Fairy lasted twice as long as the next best-selling brand had been substantiated.’
Is this the beginning of washing up liquid war? Will there be a Persil Challenge? Either way, things are going to get nasty, and er…bubbly.
Ofcom releases speed reports every six months, with its last two out in March 2013 and November 2012, however, BT were using Ofcom data from 2012 when hyping up their speed claim.
The ASA said: “Because the claims were not based on the most up-to-date data available at the time the complainant saw the ads, and because the ads did not clearly qualify the comparison, we concluded that [the ads] were misleading.”
You’ll remember the ad in question too, because it featured those irritating students who lived in a giant, spotless house, and helping the one in his thirties to fill out his online dating profile, photos were uploaded instantly – which also drew complaints.
Four people wrote to the ASA, saying the speed of the photo transfer and other online activities shown appeared to be exaggerated. The watchdog noted that consumers would think “Infinity operated at or near to the speeds shown”, which BT weren’t happy about.
The ASA ordered BT not to run the ad again, which is brilliant news, saying: “We told BT to base their claims on the most up-to-date data and to present qualifications clearly in the future.”
Have you seen Marmite’s ‘animal cruelty’ commercial? It received more than 500 complaints because some people thought the whole thing trivialised the work of animal and child welfare agencies.
In the ad, you see a bloke crying on his doorstep, while the faces of some children are pixilated to protect their identity while officers rescue neglected jars of Marmite.
Michael Buerk even makes an appearance in the ad, which saw one viewer shrieking: “Disgraceful advert! The implications are dreadful and shame on Michael Buerk for taking part! Hope you take this off air straight away!!!!” while everyone else mewed that it was all in ‘poor taste’.
Mercifully, the commercial will not be investigated by the advertising watchdog because it doesn’t think that people are so stupid and sensitive, that they’ll cry at what is clearly a spoof.
The Advertising Standards Authority said: ‘Most [viewers] would recognise the ads were a spoof. They did not trivialise issues of abuse or denigrate the work of child and animal protection services.”
Well, you won’t be seeing it anymore, as it has been banned.
In the ad, Willis moans about his broadband speeds and some character replies with: “You could try Sky Broadband, it’s totally unlimited…” adding; “Sky Broadband Unlimited is £7.50 a month, which is less than half BT’s standard price.”
The on-screen text chucks more stats into the mix: “Price for Sky TV customers. Sky Talk and line rental (£14.50 pm) required.”
One eagle-eyed viewer with nothing better to do decided to make a complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority because this commercial doesn’t make clear the extent of the commitment people have had to make in order to obtain the £7.50 deal, therefore, finding it all misleading.
The ASA upheld the complaint, saying that the small print is obviously much less prominent than a claim made in a voice-over, and was therefore, isn’t an appropriate method of communicating material information relating to the £7.50 price claim.
The ASA said: “In order to ensure they were sufficiently prominent, we considered that the minimum monthly price of both Sky TV and line rental should have been clearly communicated together with the £7.50 price claim. Because it was not, we concluded that the ad did not make sufficiently clear the extent of the commitment consumers had to make in order to obtain the broadband service at the advertised price of £7.50 per month, and was misleading.”
Finally, something to do with the ASA that isn’t just another example of Price-Drop TV misleading customers.
Independent brewery Brew Dog this week featured in the ASA rulings following a single complaint made against them that language they used on their site was offensive. Phrases used included:
BrewDog is a post Punk apocalyptic mother fu*ker of a craft brewery
Say goodbye to the corporate beer whores crazy for power and world domination
…and everyones favourite…
Let the sharp bitter finish rip you straight to the tits. Save up for a Luger, and drill the bastards
WHAT HAVE MY EYES JUST SEEN?! Just appalling. Vile. Repulsive. These guys should just apologise to that affected person and make assurances to the ASA that this type of despicable language will NEVER feature on their site or be associated with their brand in the future. According to the Herald Scotland, BrewDog co-founder James Watt had this to say in response to the ruling:
We actually just took down the statement on our website to make room for the equity for punks stuff. Soon, we will be putting the statement back on our website.
We believe in freedom of speech and artistic expression. We don’t believe in mindless censorship.
As for the ASA – those mother f*ckers don’t have any jurisdiction over us anyway.
This clearly raises many questions about censorship and context. Is it fair a company such as BrewDog can have the ASA dictate what is acceptable following a complaint by just the one individual? Does it make any difference that this individual was visiting a page dedicated to a brewery?
Do let us know and if you want to get involved in the discussion with BrewDog, their Twitter page is alive with thoughts and opinions. #KissMyASA
Morrisons chief executive Dalton Philips said it will complain to the Advertising Standards Authority if talks break down, but for now, no formal complaint has been made. Sainsbury’s have already made one such complaint over the price comparison campaign.
Philips said: “We are in discussions with Tesco over it. We find it challenging when one third of the basket is not successfully compared. We are not sure that that’s the right message to be out there.”
A few weeks ago, Morrisons customer director Crawford Davidson said: “Tesco’s Price Promise provides a false assurance that it will compensate customers when Morrisons is cheaper, which it mostly is.”
This is a pressing concern for Morrisons as it was revealed a 1.8% fall in first quarter like-for-like sales. Morrisons will also be teaming up with Ocado to bring an online delivery service too, but if Tesco keep misleading customers (allegedly, allegedly), they they’ll get nowhere fast.
It was more fun writing about the horse meat scandal.
You would think that having the threat of a Watchdog investigation and previous ASA adjudications against you would make be a bit more careful with any future marketing or advertising. Not sit-up Ltd t/a Bid TV though. They clearly couldn’t care less.
The ASA this week released their rulings which show that a complaint was made against sit-up Ltd t/a Bid TV because they made some rather strange claims about a camera they were looking to shift. One presenter stated, “Over to Nicola though, for which this is the lowest price ever for a camera. Brilliant.” The second presenter stated, “It certainly is, Sal, and we’re talking Canon. We’re talking one of the best names … What I’m going to do for you here is the lowest price you’ve ever seen … it’s the lowest price ever … so, lowest price ever, four easy instalments …”
The lowest price you’ve ever seen!? Well, that should be dirt cheap then. £125? Oh.
Bid TV said that their claims that this was the lowest price the camera had been sold for was solely relating to just Bid TV. They said it had previously been offered for £1 during a “megadrop” feature on Price Drop TV in January 2013 but that the two channels although both part of sit-up, were separate.
The ASA, in finding against sit-up TV considered that by stating “this is the lowest price ever for a camera … the lowest price you’ve ever seen … it’s the lowest price ever …” did not make it clear that they were only referring to their channel and was therefore a breach of BCAP Code rules 3.1 and 3.2 (Misleading advertising), 3.9 (Substantiation), 3.12 (Exaggeration) and 3.18 (Prices).
Sort it out, sit-up Ltd.
Ever since Warrington-born sausage roll botherer Kerry Katona came on the scene brandishing with her relentlessly chirpy coke habit, she’s been in a shedload of trouble.
Now, her new ad for payday loan company Cash Lady has been banned for being a blatant attempt to encourage daft young lasses to get into debt. (Cash Lady offers a gobsmacking APR of 2000%).
‘We’ve all had money troubles at some point, I know I have.’ drones a pissed-sounding Kerry. ‘You could see your bank and fill in loads of forms, but is there an easier way to get a loan … So if you need extra cash go to http://www.cashlady.co.uk. Fast cash for fast lives.’
Responsible, eh? Well the ASA didn’t think so, and it got pulled after receiving 29 complaints. PDB UK, who trades under the Cash Lady, defended their decision to use Kerry, saying their customers would be able to relate to her. (Yikes!)
Katona, who was declared bankrupt in 2008 after she spent all her money on Aston Martins, marching powder and chicken jalfrezi, is the perfect poster girl for debt, but the ASA upheld complaints that it encouraged others to be as stupid as she is. Changes must be made before the ad can go out again, they said.
Perhaps the new ad should instead show Kerry in disarray, the wind whistling through the hole in her septum, raking through some bins at the back of Iceland for a stray prawn ring and 250 Hoisin duck filo parcels?
Everybody universally loathed the original Go Compare ads, so a new campaign was created to acknowledge the fact it was so hated, featuring the Go Compare man being kicked in the stomach by Stuart Pearce and blown up by Sue Barker in a balaclava. Clever eh? Oh I bet there were some wry meta chuckles in the idea pod that day.
But those smart arsed advertisers have been hoisted with their own petards, because now THOSE adverts have become the most complained about ads of 2012 – with nearly 2000 complaints.
31,298 complaints were made to the Advertising Standards Authority last year, mostly from people with nothing better to do. Thanks to the big response to the Go Compare ads, complaints about financial services ads skyrocketed by 86%. The Wonga ads, with their cunningly hidden terms and conditions, were also on the ASA list of doom.
People also took exception to Channel 4’s ‘Bigger’, ‘Fatter’ ‘Gypsier’ campaign to promote My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding, which was third on the list with 373 complaints.
But nobody is more hated than the Go Compare man. It’s enough to make poor Gio Compario sing a heartbreaking aria from Madame Butterfly as he waits for the exhaust fumes to fill his Vauxhall Nova.
Unsurprisingly, the Advertising Standards Authority have banned an advert for Pussy. Pussy, if you didn’t know, is an energy drink, and the company have run a number of commercials that have played on the word which of course, usually means vagina.
The ASA ruled that one poster which states: “Pussy – The drink’s pure, it’s your mind that’s the problem” won’t be appearing again. The ‘I [heart] Pussy’ ads are fine, clearly.
In total, Pussy has received 156 complaints, which most people whinging about the implied sexual explicitness. Others felt it was derogatory towards women and those with religious beliefs. The rest felt children shouldn’t see the word ‘pussy’ out in public, thereby alerting kids to the slang version of a word they previously thought meant ‘cat’.
The ASA ruled that while the ad did not portray women in a derogatory way or offend religious people, it was sexually explicit and likely to cause widespread offence.
Pussy said it had not intended to offend, and that “the slang meaning of the word was not one that [it] had created, and that any problems were only caused by those who were twisting the meaning of an innocent word”.
Have you heard of Sit-Up TV? They’re the people behind Bid TV and Price Drop TV and they’re being closely watched by clearly irritated watchdogs and the ASA are unhappy about 17 plugs they’ve made.
It seems they’ve been generous with the truth, flogging a gold plated bracelet as solid gold, one of the presenters claiming that bedding came with “free P&P” when in actual fact there was a charge. There’s also some fleeces that were being sold that ‘normally 35 quid a go’, when in actual fact that you could get ‘em for £4.99. There’s also a problem that, in a jewellery sale, there was only one pair of earrings and three opal rings, when dozens of viewers were calling a £1.53 phoneline after the items had been sold.
How about the auction for a perfume which was sold ‘in Macy’s', when it actually didn’t stock it? How about the cleaning fluid that was unsafe to use without gloves?
A spokesman for the channel said: “In the three months since January we have conducted 25,375 live auctions, making the rulings represent approximately 0.05% of overall output.”
What has really worked ASA up is that they had to stay up all night watching Peter Simon having a nervous breakdown.
If the ASA find that you continually do not comply with UK Advertising Code they get in touch to let you know where you are failing and this should give you adequate time to put right those wrongs.
If you continue to make various claims within your advertising and choose to ignore the ASA, you get added to their list of “Non-compliant online advertisers”. That is exactly what has happened to Radisson Blu, the upscale brand of the worldwide Radisson hotel chain.
The ASA found that Radisson Blu were misleading customers looking to book hotel rooms by quoting prices exclusive of VAT on its website. This is in breach of CAP (Committee of Advertising Practices) requirement that VAT exclusive prices can be only be given if every person receiving this price quote is not required to pay VAT or be able to recover it.
CAP say that they have contacted Radisson Blu on numerous occasions yet they still have not amended their website to comply with this requirement. We found it strange that such a high profile company like Radisson Blu would want to remain on a list of businesses having such a sheer disregard for advertising standards so we contacted the ASA to ask what efforts Radisson Blu have made:
A period of grace is granted, in this case 3 months, to advertisers to give them time to amend their advertising.
We then follow-up this communication after the grace period has ended, contacting advertisers who are not complying.
We then give another warning, requesting assurances from an advertiser that they will comply otherwise we will apply sanctions.
If assurances are not received we apply sanctions – Radisson Blu Edwardian were added to our list of non-compliant online advertisers.
I should mention that we are in discussions with Radisson Blu Edwardian and are hopeful that they will begin complying soon. If they do, we will remove them from the wall entry.
So it seems that Radisson Blu are on their way to being allowed off the naughty step but we do find it strange that they have had more than 4 months to amend their systems which, considering all other hotels are complying, seems to be long enough.
Just a quick glance at the other businesses on the ASA list tell you that this isn’t a place that such a reputable business would want to be appearing.