Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland releases latest Complaints Bulletin

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

Misleading Advertising, Promotion, Children and Gambling

 

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

Five of the six advertisements were found to have been in breach of the ASAI Code on grounds relating to Misleading Advertising, Promotion, Safety, Children, Principals and Gambling. The advertisements complained of related to Social Media, Radio, SMS and Online. None of the six complaints related to intra industry / interested parties. The ASAI Complaints Committee chose not to uphold one consumer 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 range of sectors and mediums. The ASAI is committed to protecting consumers in relation to advertising – across all mediums – and our approach is to work with all advertisers to ultimately ensure that all marketing communications are legal, truthful, decent and honest.”

 

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

 

Company/Organisation Complaint Category Further Details
Eden Medical Group Misleading The complainant considered the posts on Eden Medical Group’s Facebook page to be misleading. She said it was her opinion that the ‘before’ treatment photographs had featured the client with scrunched up features to make it appear that post treatment, when the client appeared with a relaxed expression, that all the lines and crevices had disappeared as a result of having the anti-wrinkle treatment.

 

In breach of section 4.1 of the code

 

Complaint Upheld

 

Link:

https://www.asai.ie/complaint/health-beauty-33/

 

Sisu Aesthetic Clinic (Cork) Misleading The complainant considered the advertising to be misleading. She said that the ‘before’ treatment photographs had the model’s face scrunched up / frowning to emphasise her wrinkles, while in the after anti-wrinkle treatment photographs her face appeared to be far more relaxed.

In breach of section 4.1 of the code.

 

Complaint Upheld

 

Link:

https://www.asai.ie/complaint/health-beauty-34/

Hidden Hearing Misleading/Promotions Two complaints were received by the committee. The complainant said that on hearing the advertisement he rang to get an appointment as one of the 25 volunteers to test the new hearing equipment. When he went for his appointment, he was not provided with new equipment to test as indicated but instead was given a hard sell for a hearing aid costing €4,700.

 

He claimed he had not been invited to evaluate the ‘new digital nose reducing devices’ in the hearing centre as indicated in the advertising material.

 

The second complainant, following receipt of the SMS, suffered from hearing difficulties and applied to be one of the volunteers for the trial. He was informed, however, that in order to take part in the trial he would have to purchase a hearing aid up-front. There was not just one hearing aid which he could have chosen from but rather there were many at various prices, some at the cost of several thousand euro. The complainant claimed that it was evident there was no particular model of hearing aid to evaluate, as indicated in the advertising. He considered the purpose of the advertising had been to generate sales.

 

In breach of section 4.1, 4.4, 4.9, 4.10 and 5.16 of the code.

 

Complaint Upheld

 

Link:

https://www.asai.ie/complaint/hearing-aids-2/

Three Ireland Safety/Children Six complaints were received regarding the advertisement relating to two issues.

 

Issue 1: One complainant objected to the advertisement that featured a child holding a mobile phone on a bouncing castle as they considered it was irresponsible and dangerous to carry a hard and potentially damaging object on a bouncy castle.

Issue 2: All other complainants objected the scene where the mother and daughter jumped over the balcony, somersaulting in the air over an atrium. They objected on the grounds that it was irresponsible and dangerous behaviour and that children could try to replicate the scene.

Issue 1 was upheld whereas issue 2 was not.

Issue 1 was in breach of section 3.24 (a) and 7.4 (c) and (h) of the code.

Complaint Upheld in Part

Link:

https://www.asai.ie/complaint/telecommunications-72/

Irish Greyhound Board Principles/Gambling The complainant considered that the radio advertisement was encouraging gambling by making reference to the form, however, it had not included any reference to responsible gambling.

The complainant noted that the website provided in the radio advertisement included space which third party companies could purchase. When the complainant viewed the website, they noted that an advertisement for a third-party betting company was placed in a banner at the bottom of the page.

The complainant also noted that the advertisers had not referred to greyhound racing as a form of betting or gambling. They considered the advertisers were encouraging gambling without making any reference to same.

The radio advertisement must not reappear in its current form as it should include a responsibility message.

In breach of section 10.10 of the code

 

Complaint Upheld in Part

 

Link:

https://www.asai.ie/complaint/greyhound-racing-2/

 

The following complaint was investigated and following investigation, the ASAI Complaints Committee did not uphold the complaint. The complaint was made by a consumer party:

 

Company/Organisation Complaint Category Further Details
EBS Misleading The complainant considered that the advertising had the potential to mislead consumers. He said on 1st July 2011, EBS Building Society ceased to exist. After being granted a banking licence, and demutualising, they became EBS Limited, a subsidiary of AIB.

 

On 12th Sept 2016, EBS Limited re-registers as a designated activity company (DAC) as required under the Companies Act 2014. The registered name of the legal entity then became EBS (DAC)

 

The complainant considered that because of all these changes that had taken place in relation to the company name, the claim the ‘EBS have been bringing mortgages home since 1935 and that’s what makes EBS mortgage masters’ was misleading. He said in his opinion that they had been in business since 2016.

 

The complainant reiterated that the current legal entity offering the product / service had only been in existence for two years and not since 1935 as indicated in their advertising and there for the advertisement was misleading.

 

The executive challenged weather the advertisement complied with Sections 2.4(c), 4.1, 4.4, 4.9 and 4.10 of the Code.

 

Complaint Not Upheld

 

Link:

https://www.asai.ie/complaint/financial-11/

 

 

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

 

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