Advert falls foul for preying on porn players

17 February 2010

On the one hand, this is funny. On the other, it's pathetically tragic - we're not referring to the guy who was idiotic enough to part with his cash, but the fact that the company involved gets away scott-free. Yes, it's the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA), that allows you to advertise anything - and this case proves it really is anything - without any comeback whatsoever.

So then. An advert is placed in an unnamed UK porno magazine that reads:

"Act out your fantasies on film, Earn Big Bucks. Adult movie xtras needed now! Call 08714 XXXXXX or 08714 XXXXXX www.xtreme-red.com"

Sounds like the perfect gig, we thought. In fact Andy already has his coat on. Just hold your horses, superschlong! There's a problem, according to the ASA. Several, in fact:

A reader, who had answered the ad and paid several thousand pounds up front, objected that the ad was misleading because:

1. the ad did not make clear that obtaining work through the advertisers would involve significant financial outlay;

2. he did not believe the advertised work was available, as he had never been given the precise details of when and where shoots would take place.

The ASA challenged:

3. that the ad did not set out Xtreme Red's full name and contact details and the fact that it was an employment agency, as required by the Code;

4. whether the charge for the premium rate numbers should have been included in the ad.

We're not sure why you'd pay out several thousand pounds when the advert promised to pay you, so you'd be well within your right to chalk it up as a successful attempt in parting an idiot and his money. Surprisingly, the website actually responded to the ASA initially, stating the fees paid were for individuals to promote their services on their website, and the client hadn't been guaranteed any work. However, when the ASA asked for their terms and conditions concerning the service, proof that the complainant had been promoted on their site, and proof that indeed anybody who had paid for promotion had appeared in a skin flick, the website didn't respond.

Perhaps the company relied on a client's embarrassment to keep them quiet - regardless, the they were unwilling to prove they were in the business of doing anything other than fleecing cocksure wannabes for thousands. So on the grounds that xtreme-red.com are misleading consumers, what happens to them now?

The ad must not appear again in its current form.

Brilliant. As always, the regulator has no power whatsoever to prevent the company from advertising again, even in cases when it appears that the company is ripping people off. Carry on, says the ASA! As long as ads stick by their rules, you can advertise whatever the hell you like. They won't even tell their friends at Trading Standards! It reminds us of this textbook example of missing the point, an old Viz gag reproduced in the US and sent in by avid Bitterwallet reader Daniel:

Bitterwallet - missing the point

TOPICS:   Advertising

4 comments

  • The C.
    That's "preying", not "praying".
  • Tom P.
    That guy got well and truly ripped-off....i only paid £500.
  • maxtweenie
    @ Tom Pickering; Maybe they charged per inch?
  • Paul S.
    Changed. Ta.

What do you think?

Connect with Facebook, Twitter, or just enter your email to sign in and comment.

Your comment