INTRODUCTION

This summary provides a selection of the most interesting ASA adjudications in January and highlights the key issues considered in those adjudications.

Reflecting the increased advertising of gambling and lottery related products, three ads this month faced complaints, with all three found to be in breach of the Code. These ads are often subject to complaint and the ASA takes a strict stance, particularly where significant terms and conditions are not easily accessible by the customers.

Particularly interesting this month was an ad regarding plain packaging of tobacco, which highlighted the upcoming MP vote on the issue in March and the potential advertising implications. As the vote approaches advertisers will need to be wary of the politicised nature of the issue and aim to present their stance as opinion rather than fact, as was done in this month’s adjudication, in order to comply with the Code.

ADJUDICATIONS

HEALTH AND BEAUTY

1. L'Oréal (UK) Ltd t/a Yves Saint Laurent, 21 January 2015 (two TV ads and a VOD ad were found not to breach the Code as they did not glamorise or trivialise drug use)

2. Howad Ltd t/a Incognito, 14 January 2015 (a website that offered insect repellent spray for sale was found to have made misleading and unsubstantiated superlative claims in respect of the efficacy of the product)

HOUSEHOLD 

3. Homes Direct 365 Ltd, 28 January 2015 (descriptions of furniture on a website as “Antique French” were in breach of the Code as the furniture was new and not manufactured in France)

LEISURE

4. Geo24 UK Ltd, 28 January 2015 (a TV ad for a gambling game was found to be in breach of the Code as it implied participants would be playing a lottery)

5. Take That Ltd, 28 January 2015 (three issues relating to websites misleading consumers into believing they would be directed to official lottery websites were upheld)

6. Unibet (International) Ltd, 7 January 2015 (online ads were found to be breaching the Code by claiming bets were risk free though significant conditions applied)

7. Imperial Tobacco Ltd, 28 January 2015 (a magazine ad commenting on the legality of plain packaging was found not to breach the Code)

RETAIL

8. Rebecca Penny t/a Bridleworks, 28 January 2015 (an unfairly administered online competition was to be in breach of the Code)

9. dylanqueen.co.uk, 28 January 2015 (an ad for a ‘limited time only’ sale was found to be misleading as the savings were available for a longer period)

ALCOHOL

10. William Grant & Sons Ltd, 21 January 2015 (an ad implying that Advoccat was traditionally associated with the Christmas period was found not to be in breach of the Code)