Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland release latest Complaints Bulletin

15 advertisements found to be in breach of the ASAI Code on grounds relating to

Misleading Advertising, Promotion and Recognisability

 

The Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland’s (ASAI) independent Complaints Committee has released its latest Complaints Bulletin which contains 16 case reports on complaints recently investigated by the ASAI.

15 of the 16 advertisements were found to have been in breach of the ASAI Code on grounds relating to Misleading Advertising, Promotion and Recognisability. The advertisements complained of related to Email, Social Media, Internet, Radio and Print advertising. The ASAI Complaints Committee chose not to uphold one intra industry / interested party complaint.

The Complaints Committee is a completely independent arm of the ASAI and is responsible for considering and dealing with complaints submitted by the public, by a member of the ASAI, by a Government Department or any other person or body of persons. The Committee is made up of a range of experts from the advertising, media, education, consumer and marketing sectors. See further details here – http://www.asai.ie/about-us/complaints-committee

Commenting on the latest ASAI rulings, Orla Twomey, Chief Executive of the ASAI, stated: 

The latest complaints bulletin from the ASAI illustrates our ability to handle complaints across a large number of mediums. For the second time, a complaint involving a collaboration between a brand and an influencer / blogger has been upheld by the Complaints Committee. Over the past few years, we have spent considerable time highlighting awareness in relation to advertising best practice within this space to ensure all relevant parties are equipped with the knowledge and resources to correctly identify commercial marketing content across their platforms. 

The ASAI is committed to protecting consumers in relation to advertising – across all mediums – and our approach is to work with all advertisers, rather than against them, to ultimately ensure that all marketing communications are legal, truthful, decent and honest.” 

Below is a list of complaints which have been found to be in breach of the ASAI Code:

 

Company/Organisation Complaint Category Further Details
 

Ryanair

Decency & Propriety/Violence and Anti-Social Behaviour/Alcohol The complainant considered the advertisement to normalise and encourage drunken behaviour and engage in harmful levels of alcohol consumption. The ad depicted an apparently drunk young male lying on a beach on his side, as if asleep, with his head supported on his elbow, lying beside an unidentified clear glass bottle. The text to accompany the image explained to Leaving Cert and A-Level students that “this could be you” and to book a holiday on Ryanair.com in between “studying”.

 

In breach of section 3.3, 9.5(d), 9.8(f) and 9.8(h) of the code.

 

Complaint Upheld

 

Link: https://www.asai.ie/complaint/airline-services/

Boots & Faces by Grace Recognisability The complaint considered that it was clear from the post that the influencer was working for Boots Ireland and expressed concern that the post had not been hash tagged accordingly with #sp.

Boots argued that they provided Faces by Grace with a briefing document which included the detail for the promotion and also, a request for the inclusion of #sp or #ad on posts. A link to the ASAI guidelines was included also.

In breach of section 3.31 and 3.32 of the code.

 

Complaint Upheld

 

Link: https://www.asai.ie/complaint/business-pharmacy/

CityJet DAC Misleading The complainant considered the claim “25% off all fares” to be misleading because the small print stated it was only off selected flights. The advertisers stated that they operate flights under wet lease and code share arrangements on behalf of other airlines.  The offer was only available on CityJet’s scheduled flights, not code share flights

 

In breach of section 4.6 of the code.

 

Complaint Upheld

 

Link: https://www.asai.ie/complaint/airline-services-2/

 

Solar Electric Misleading The complainant said the company was claiming that their solar panels could save 50% off an electricity bill. He considered they had no calculations to back up this claim nor had they carried out a study or experiment. The advertisers stated that the nature of the article promoted was a micro generation unit capable of replacing incoming energy from the grid.

 

In breach of section 4.1, 4.4, 4.9 and 4.10 of the code.

 

Complaint Upheld

Link: https://www.asai.ie/complaint/household-energy-efficiency-products/

 

Teleperformance Contact Limited (TLS Contact) Misleading The complainant said the wording used implied that he would receive his visa quicker than if he applied for it through the regular application channel which may take up to 60 days. The complainant paid for the ‘priority’ service but was granted his visa 74 days after application. The advertisers argued that TLS Contact was a commercial partner of UK Visa and Immigration operating in the Republic of Ireland for collection of visa applications therefore, they were neither the company providing the related priority service nor the ones who received the related fees for the service.

 

In breach of section 4.1 and 4.4 of the code.

 

Complaint Upheld

 

Link: https://www.asai.ie/complaint/business-service-3/

 

Ballet Ireland Misleading The complainant said he booked three €45 tickets for the production as advertised which he expected to pay €135 for. The ad stated that the tickets were “inclusive of the agents booking fee”. He pointed out, however, that it came to €151.95 as an additional service charge had been added to his bill. The advertisers offered their apologies for what happened in this instance and for any confusion caused in relation to booking fees.

 

In breach of section 4.1 and 4.22 of the code.

 

Complaint Upheld

 

Link: https://www.asai.ie/complaint/leisure-12/

 

Andrew Beatty Fitness Misleading/Free Offers The complainant viewed the offer that stated it was free and signed up. After this she attended the gym to register. She was advised that she would have to pay €500 which she would then get back at the end of the six-week programme if she successfully completed the challenge. She said that she was also asked to sign up to a monthly charge of €247. The advertisers said it appears that the complainant had signed up for the challenge, indicating that she had no issue with the challenge concept. They have since included a disclaimer on the challenge advertisement on exactly how it worked before clients arrive at the gym.

 

In breach of sections 4.1, 4.4 and 5.22 of the code.

 

Complaint Upheld

 

Link: https://www.asai.ie/complaint/health-beauty-23/

 

Urban Brewing Misleading/Promotions The complainant argued that when he entered the competition with four other Twitter account users, no winner was announced. The advertisers said they ran two competitions, one on Twitter and one on another social media platform. They said it appeared to be the case that the competition on Twitter received only one entry and it was decided to rerun the competition. When they checked a different device, however, it appeared that more than one entry had been received.

 

In breach of sections 4.1 and 5.33 of the code.

 

Complaint Upheld

 

Link: https://www.asai.ie/complaint/restaurant-2/

 

The Pulse Venue Misleading/Alcohol The complainant felt the advertisement was misleading for a number of reasons. He said the poster stated the nightclub would have 99c drinks all night but only one drink was sold at that price. A snow machine was advertised and it was not present along with the advertised crackers and Christmas sweets that were not present either. Neither a grotto nor Santa were in attendance and the DJ differed from the one advertised. The advertisers failed to provide a response to the complaint.

 

In breach of section 3.10, 4.1 and 4.4 of the code.

 

Complaint Upheld

 

Link: https://www.asai.ie/complaint/leisure-13/

 

Jump Fitness Wexford Misleading/Health and Beauty The complainant queried if it was acceptable to state in a marking communication that exercise could “help in preventing and eliminating cancer”. The advertisers said they were unaware the claim existed and the information must have been copied and pasted from someone else’s Facebook.

 

In breach of sections 4.1, 5.5 and 5.1(e) of the code.

 

Complaint Upheld

 

Link: https://www.asai.ie/complaint/leisure-fitness-club/

Ford Ireland Misleading/Environmental Two complaints were received in relation to the advertising. Both complainants considered the advertising to be misleading. They considered that the reference to “green” were claims that the vans were environmentally friendly. The advertisers said that engine technologies were constantly evolving and that Ford had an ongoing commitment to reducing emissions and increasing engine performance.

 

In breach of sections 4.1, 4.4, 4.9 and 15.2 of the code.

 

Complaint Upheld

 

Link: https://www.asai.ie/complaint/motoring-24/

 

Liberty’s Nightclub Decency and Propriety 64 complaints were received about a poster advertisement featuring an image of part of a woman holding a golf club and a reference to the “19th hole”. Main issues raised were in relation to the advertisement being offensive, misogynistic and promoting a rape culture. In the response, the advertiser stated no offense was intended by their advertising.

 

Complaint Upheld

 

Link: https://www.asai.ie/complaint/pubs-nightclub/

 

The ASAI upheld complaints made by Intra Industry / Interested Parties in the following cases:

 

Company/Organisation Complaint Category Further Details
The Sunbed Association Safety/Misleading/Health & Beauty A series of social media posts promoting commercial sunbed use on both Facebook and Twitter for Sunbed Awareness Week were objected by Melanoma Support Ireland. The advertisers stated they were a non-for-profit organisation set up to promote best practice in the provision of sunbed services in a professionally run environment. 4 out of 5 complaints were upheld and found in breach of sections 4.1, 4.4, 4.9 and 4.10 of the code.

 

Complaint was upheld in part

 

Link:

https://www.asai.ie/complaint/miscellaneous-association/

 

Tesco Misleading Aldi stores (Ireland) Ltd considered that advertising offering a selection of 800 products which customers would not pay more for when they shopped at Tesco, to be misleading because it was not clear what the products were.

 

The ad was found in breach of sections 4.4, 4.32 and 3.4 of the code.

 

Complaint was upheld in part.

 

Link:

https://www.asai.ie/complaint/retail-supermarket-2/

 

National Dairy Council Misleading 121 complaints were received from consumers and from PETA about poster, video and website advertisements which promoted dairy milk. The advertisers stated that the advertising was carefully created following market research with their target audience, while aiming to follow the rules of the ASAI Code. Complaints about poster and video advertisements not in breach.

 

Complaints about website advertisement in breach of sections 4.1 and 4.4 of the code.

 

Complaint was upheld in part.

 

Link:

https://www.asai.ie/complaint/food-non-alcoholic-beverages-milk/

 

 

 

The following complaints were investigated and following investigation, the ASAI Complaints Committee did not uphold the complaints. The complaints were made by Intra Industry / Interested Parties:

 

Company/Organisation Complaint Category Further Details
Fever Tree Misleading Coca-Cola Ireland objected to the advertisement on the grounds that it was in breach of article 4 of the directive concerning misleading and comparative advertising, sections 43 and 44 for the Consumer Protection Act 2007 and the ASAI Code.

 

Complaint Not Upheld

 

Link:

https://www.asai.ie/complaint/food-and-beverages-4/

 

The ASAI conducts ongoing monitoring of advertising across all media and since 2007, has examined over 27,000 advertisements, with an overall compliance rate of 98 per cent. The ASAI Monitoring Service monitors compliance with the Complaints Committee’s adjudications.

Media members are reminded that advertisements found to be in breach of the Code cannot be accepted for publication.

 

www.asai.ie

 

Or follow the ASAI on Twitter @THE_ASAI