Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland release latest Complaints Bulletin

– 16 advertisements found to be in breach of the ASAI Code on grounds relating to Misleading Advertising and Health & Beauty

28 Sept 2016 – The Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland’s (ASAI) independent Complaints Committee has released its latest Complaints Bulletin which contains 22 case reports on complaints recently investigated by the ASAI.

16 advertisements were found to have been in breach of the ASAI Code on grounds relating to Misleading Advertising, Substantiation, Decency & Propriety, Promotional Marketing and Health & Beauty. The advertisements complained of related to the internet, brochure, television, social media, print and radio.

4 of the upheld advertisements complained about related to complaints from Intra Industry / Interested Parties while the ASAI Complaints Committee also chose not to uphold four consumer complaints and one intra-industry 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 ASAI complaints bulletin shows the broad remit of the ASAI in dealing with complaints across all media from Social Media and Internet to more traditional methods such as press, radio and Television. The updated ASAI Code of Standards for Advertising and Marketing Communications in Ireland came into effect earlier this year, to ensure that the Code will remain, at all times, credible and relevant. In updating the Code, the ASAI have been able to address emerging advertising trends such as the growth of social media and its various platforms. Furthermore, the ASAI has extended its monitoring service to be inclusive of the blogging community and is directly engaging with bloggers in relation to the disclosure of content, ensuring all marketing communications are easily recognisable.

The ASAI approach is to work with advertisers and the advertising industry, including bloggers, rather than against them to ultimately ensure that all marketing communications are truthful, decent and honest. The ASAI provide a free and confidential copy advice service to advertisers, agencies and media members to help them create responsible ads. If an advertiser has any concerns about a marketing communications’ compliance with the ASAI’s Code, they can contact us and avail of the free and confidential copy advice service.”

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

Company/Organisation Complaint Category Further Details
Therapie Clinic Misleading
(7th Edition) The Complaints Committee considered the details of the complaint and expressed their concern at the advertisers’ failure to respond in the matter.
Complaint Upheld

Lidl Ireland GmbH Misleading
(7th Edition) The Complaints Committee noted that the advertisers had provided an inaccurate description of the product
Complaint Upheld

Interflora Misleading
(7th Edition) The Complaints Committee considered that a disclaimer should have been stated in the advertisement.
Complaint Upheld

eir Misleading
(6th Edition) The complainant found the advertisement to be misleading
Complaint Upheld

BetBright Misleading
(7th Edition) The Complaints Committee considered the description “Risk Free” to be misleading
Complaint Upheld

Valero Marketing Ireland Ltd (Texoil) Misleading
(7th Edition) The complainant found the advertisement to be misleading
Complaint Upheld

Virgin Media Misleading
(6th Edition) The complainant found the advertisement to be misleading
Complaint Upheld

Vodafone Ireland Limited Decency and Propriety
(7th Edition) The Committee considered the advert to be irresponsible and in breach of the ASAI Code
Complaint Upheld

Plexus Bio-Energy Health & Beauty
(6th Edition) The Complaints Committee considered that relevant substantiation had not been forwarded
Complaint Upheld

Detox Juice Health & Beauty
(6th Edition) The Committee noted that a weight loss of 8lbs in three days was not compatible with good medical or nutritional practice and considered therefore that the marketing communication breached the ASAI Code
Complaint Upheld

Omega Pharmacy Ltd. (XLS Medical) Slimming
(6th Edition) The complainant considered that the models were young girls and both were very thin.
Complaint Upheld

Miss Fit Skinny Tea Slimming
(7th Edition) Complaint upheld in part. They noted that the advertisers had not provided any evidence for the effectiveness of the product
Complaint Upheld

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

Company/Organisation Complaint Category Further Details
Thesis Direct Misleading/Comparisons
(6th Edition) The Committee considered that the savings claim exaggerated the benefit that consumers were likely to achieve Complaint Upheld

Vodafone Ireland Limited Misleading
(6th Edition)
The complainant found the advertisement to be misleading
Complaint Upheld

Vodafone Ireland Limited Misleading
(7th Edition) The complainant found the advertisement to be misleading
Complaint Upheld

Virgin Media Misleading
(6th Edition) The complainant found the advertisement to be misleading
Complaint Upheld

The following complaint was investigated and following investigation, the ASAI Complaints Committee did not uphold the complaint.
Company/Organisation Complaint Category Further Details
Sky Ireland Safety
(7th Edition)

Complaint Not upheld

Sherry Fitzgerald Misleading
(6th Edition)

Complaint Not upheld

Lidl Ireland GmbH Misleading
(7th Edition
Complaint Not upheld

VHI Misleading
(6th Edition)
Complaint Not upheld

Prettylittlething.com Decency & Propriety
(6th Edition)
Complaint Not upheld

Intra-industry complaints not upheld by the ASAI

Company/Organisation Complaint Category Further Details
Vodafone Ireland Limited Misleading
(7th Edition)
Complaint Not Upheld

The ASAI’s updated Code of Standards for Advertising and Marketing in Ireland (7th edition) came into effect on the 1st March 2016. The updated Code is the result of a comprehensive review undertaken by the ASAI which involved a significant public consultation process with a wide range of Government departments and agencies; consultations with consumer groups and other NGOs; and consultation with the advertising industry including advertisers, agencies and the media.

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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