Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland releases latest Complaints Bulletin

  • 28 advertisements found to be in breach of the ASAI Code on grounds relating to Misleading/ Substantiation / Environmental Claims, Decency and Propriety, Misleading / Substantiation / Health & Beauty

6th May 2021 – The Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland’s (ASAI) independent Complaints Committee has released its latest Complaints Bulletin, which contains 32 case reports on complaints recently investigated by the organisation.

28 outof the 32 advertisements were found to have been in breach of the ASAI Code on grounds related to Misleading / Substantiation / Environmental Claims, Decency and Propriety, Misleading /Substantiation / Health & Beauty. The advertisements complained of related to Online, Email, Social Media, a Blogger’s own social media page, a leaflet, newspaper (Sunday) and Radio and a Company Website. Five intra industry / interested party complaints were upheld. The ASAI Complaints Committee chose not to uphold four consumer complaints.

The Complaints Committee is a completely independent arm of the ASAI and is responsible for considering and adjudicating on complaints submitted by the public, by an organisation, by a Government Department or any other person or body. 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 variety of platforms, and demonstrates how we ensure that ads in Ireland stick to the advertising rules. The main role of advertising self-regulatory organisations (SROs), such as the ASAI, is to ensure that ads and other marketing communications are legal, truthful, decent and honest, prepared with a sense of social responsibility to the consumer and society and with proper respect for the principles of fair competition.”

“The ASAI is committed to protecting society in relation to advertising across all mediums. Self-regulatory ad standards provide an additional layer of consumer protection which complements legislative controls and offers an easily accessible means of resolving disputes.”

“The ASAI provide a free and confidential copy advice service to the advertising industry to help them create responsible ads. If an advertiser, agency or medium 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.”

Professor Bairbre Redmond, Independent Head of the Complaints Committee of the ASAI, says:

“Over the past few years, the Complaints Committee, comprised of independent and industry members, has dealt with a broad range of complaints. The Complaints Committee has also spent considerable time highlighting awareness, through its adjudications, to advertising best practice within the advertising industry, ensuring all relevant parties are equipped with the knowledge and resources to correctly identify commercial marketing content across their platforms.”

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

Company/OrganisationComplaint CategoryFurther Details
  Molloys Pharmacies  Misleading / Substantiation / Nutrition and Health Claims / Food Supplements    The complainant, a General Practitioner, viewed the advertisement on the company’s Facebook page and said that it linked to their website where a list of approximately 55 products was given.   Issue 1: The complainant considered that it was misleading to promote ‘immune-building’ products when there was no evidence for most, if not all, of the products listed. The complainant said that as a doctor, they were aware of some evidence for Vitamin D supplementation but were not aware of any evidence for the majority of the products listed.   Complaint Upheld.   In breach of Sections 4.1, 4.4, 4.9, 4.10, 8.10, 8.11 and 8.25 of the Code.   Issue 2: The complainant said that while the advertisement did not specifically mention immunity against Covid-19, given the timing they considered that the advertiser was trying to take advantage and make money from society’s fear of and anxiety about the pandemic.   Complaint Not Upheld.   Overall, the advertising was in breach of sections 4.1, 4.4, 4.9, 4.10, 8.10, 8.11, and 8.25 of the Code.   Complaint on Issue 1 Upheld.   Link: https://www.asai.ie/complaint/health-beauty-54/  
  Enerco Energy    Misleading /Substantiation / Environmental claims    The complainant objected to the advertising leaflet on the following grounds:   Issue 1: The complainant considered that the question and answer section entitled “Do wind turbines affect health” in the Frequently Asked Questions section of the leaflet was misleading and contained false information that was being circulated widely in their community in order to persuade people to support the erection of wind turbines by the advertisers.   Issue 2: The complainant also objected to the question and answer section entitled “Do wind farms affect property values?” on the grounds that the answer listing research from the UK, the US and Australia contained no references to the studies.   Complaint Upheld on issues 1 and 2.   In breach of Sections 4.1, 4.4, 4.9 and 4.10 of the Code. Link: https://www.asai.ie/complaint/household-energy/  
  Clothes Lines    Decency and Propriety  The complainant considered that the advertisement was sexist and reinforced harmful gender stereotypes to anyone who may see it, including children. They felt that the advertisement was intended to catch the attention of young men and depicted hanging up washing to be a woman’s job in a sexist manner.   Complaint Upheld.   In breach of sections 3.17, 3.18 and 3.20 of the Code.   Link: https://www.asai.ie/complaint/household-20/  
    Indeora    Misleading / Substantiation / Health & Beauty  The complainant, a healthcare professional, said the information provided on the advertisers’ website had been vague and alarmist without any evidence -based facts. The said the information suggested that breast cancer was linked to the use of regular deodorant because of its aluminium content when this had been disproven multiple times.   Complaint Upheld.   In breach of sections 4.1, 4.4, 4.9 and 4.10 of the Code.   Link: https://www.asai.ie/complaint/health-beauty-deodorant/  
    Marine Healthfoods  Misleading / Substantiation / Health & Beauty  The complainant objected to the advertising on the following grounds:   Issue 1: The complainant considered that the advertising was intimating that the OysterMax product would ‘bullet proof’ immunity against viruses including Covid-19.   Issue 2: The complainant considered that the advertising could make many people fear that they had a greater risk of contracting Covid 19 by not taking a source of zinc and that only the advertiser’s products would do.   Complaint Upheld on Issues 1 and 2.   In breach of section 11.6 of the Code.   Link: https://www.asai.ie/complaint/health-beauty-55/
  Brogans Bar & Restaurant  Principles / Alcoholic Drinks  The complainant objected to the advertisement on the following grounds:   Issue 1: The complainant objected to the advertisement as it did not include a responsibility message.   Complaint Upheld.   In breach of section 9.4 of the Code.   Issue 2: The complainant considered that the advertisement had been placed on a platform that was used by under 18’s and that the advertisement had not included any statement to say that the competition was only open to over 18’s, nor was there any mechanism in place to prevent under 18’s from entering the competition.   Complaint Upheld.   In breach of section 9.9 (a) and (b) of the Code.   Issue 3: The complainant considered that the competition was encouraging binge drinking as they considered that the amount of alcohol featured exceeded the daily allowance of what was considered as binge drinking.   Complaint not Upheld.   Overall, advertising was in breach of sections 9.4 and 9.9 (a) and (b) of the Code.   Link: https://www.asai.ie/complaint/hospitality/  
  Qwertee Ltd  Misleading / Substantiation / Availability / Promotions  The complainant considered the ‘up to 75% off’ claim to be misleading and that it could not be substantiated as they could not locate any products with a 75% discount. They said they sourced two products that were reduced from £13 to £4, a 69% discount.   Complaint Upheld.   In breach of sections 4.1, 4.4, 5.4, 5.5 and 5.12 of the Code.   Link: https://www.asai.ie/complaint/clothing-footwear-5/  
  Dannithemammy    Recognisability / Misleading  The complainant said that they believed the links were part of an affiliate programme and that the influencer posted such content often, either without disclosing the fact that they were affiliate links or hiding the disclosure so that it was difficult to see without screenshotting the post and zooming. They therefore considered the posts to be misleading,   Complaint Upheld.   In breach of sections 4.1, 4.4, 3.31 and 3.32 of the Code.   Link: https://www.asai.ie/complaint/clothes/      
  Ancestry Ireland  Misleading Substantiation  The complainant said that they received an email from Ancestry UK stating that if your ancestry were from a certain occupation, you could search their records, including those of the Royal Hospital Chelsea for soldiers. The complainant said that to access the Chelsea records, a separate subscription (at a further charge) to a sister website, Fold 3, was required. This was not mentioned in the email.   Complaint Upheld.   In breach of sections 4.1 and 4.4 of the Code.   Link: https://www.asai.ie/complaint/miscellaneous-4/  
  Tipperary Supporters Club    Misleading / Substantiation / Availability  The complainant stated that as an incentive to join/renew membership, Tipperary Supporters Club advertised a Membership Card which offered the incentive of a 10% Discount on VHI Health Insurance Policies. They said this offer had been in place for a number of years, but the VHI organisation confirmed that no such arrangement existed. The complainant said that they felt that the advertisement was a misrepresentation of fact.   Complaint Upheld.   In breach of sections 4.1 and 4.4 of the Code.   Link: https://www.asai.ie/complaint/leisure-26/  
    Safe Personal Alarm    Principles / Fear and Distress /Misleading    The complainant said they were looking at the death notices on an Irish obituary website when the pop-up advertisement appeared advertising Personal alarms. They said they clicked into the pop-up and were brought to a second advertisement. They said that the second advertisement gave the impression that the woman mentioned was attacked in the complainant’s local town. They said they rang the guards and asked them if there was trouble in town and was told no. The complainant said after some research it appeared that the incident happened in America or Canada.   Complaint Upheld.   In breach of sections 3.10, 3.23, 4.1 and 4.4 of the Code.   Link: https://www.asai.ie/complaint/burglar-alarm-systems/  
  Safe Personal Alarms  Principles / Fear and Distress / Misleading  The complainant considered that the use of the headline without any context was ‘attention grabbing’. After clicking on the advertisement, the complainant noted that the full details were that a policeman in the US was recommending that people purchase the product.   Complaint Upheld.   In breach of section 3.10 of the Code.   Link: https://www.asai.ie/complaint/personal-alarm/  
    The Holyrood Hotel    Misleading /Substantiation      The complainant said she had attempted to avail of the advertised offer for a Friday – Sunday stay and was told that the offer was not available on weekends and that a stay on weekend dates would cost €298.   Complaint Upheld.   In breach of sections 4.1 and 4.4 of the Code.   Link: https://www.asai.ie/complaint/travel-holiday-package/  
          Red Bull  Recognisability / Misleading  The complainant considered the posts to be misleading as the sponsored athlete did not state that he was being paid to endorse the Red Bull brand.   Complaint Upheld.   In breach of sections 3.31 and 3.32 of the Code.   Link: https://www.asai.ie/complaint/stimulant-drink/    
  BPerfect Cosmetics  Recognisability / Misleading  Two complaints were received regarding the story. The complainants considered the story to be misleading as it was not marked as a marketing communication at any point in the story.   Complaint Upheld.   In breach of sections 3.31 and 3.32 of the Code.   Link: https://www.asai.ie/complaint/health-beauty-56/  
  Rip-Offs and Good Deals  Misleading / Substantiation / Prices  The complainant considered that the advertisement was misleading as it had not stated that the product was a refurbished iPad in Grade C condition. The complainant also considered that it was misleading to include the original price of a new iPad and state that there was a saving of 69% when the product being sold was not new.   Complaint Upheld.   In breach of sections 4.1, 4.4, 4.9, 4.10 and 4.26 of the Code.   Link: https://www.asai.ie/complaint/computers-2/  
  Eden Medical Clinic  Health & Beauty  The complainant objected to the use of the term ‘Botox’ a prescription medicine in an advertisement.   Complaint Upheld.   In breach of section 11.16 of the Code.   Link: https://www.asai.ie/complaint/health-beauty-57/  
  Lee Valley Ireland  Misleading / Substantiation  The complainant considered the advertisement for 100% Irish Merino wool slippers and jumpers to be misleading to consumers who think they were buying Irish wool products. She considered that Merino sheep belonged to the Southern hemisphere and could not survive in Irish climate, and the advertised wool product was more likely to be Australian.   Complaint Upheld.   In breach of sections 4.1, 4.4, 4.9 and 4.10 of the Code.   Link: https://www.asai.ie/complaint/clothing-footwear-6/  
  Romayos  Misleading / Substantiation  The complainant challenged the product description.   Complaint Upheld.   In breach of sections 4.1 and 4.4 of the Code.   Link: https://www.asai.ie/complaint/leisure-restaurant-fast-food/  
  Car Covers Ireland  Principles / Misleading / Substantiation  The complainant considered the information contained on the advertiser’s website to be misleading and that the company does not provide custom fitted covers. The complainant also objected to the fact that the advertisers implied they were an Irish company and based in Ireland.   Complaint Upheld.   In breach of sections 3.10, 4.1, 4.4, 4.9 and 4.10 of the Code.   Link: https://www.asai.ie/complaint/motoring-38/    
  Adore Autos  Principles /Misleading / Substantiation / Promotions  The complainant considered that the competition was in breach of the Code as the influencer appeared to change the entry conditions during the course of the competition.   Complaint Upheld.   In breach of 5.5, 5.30(a), (b), (f) (h), (i) (j) and (k), 5.31, 5.33, 5.36 and 5.37 of the Code.   Link: https://www.asai.ie/complaint/motoring-38/  

The following four advertisements were investigated and the ASAI Complaints Committee found that they did not breach the Code on the grounds raised in the complaints.

Company/OrganisationComplaint CategoryFurther Details
  National Lottery   Principles / Misleading / Substantiation  Two complaints were received regarding the campaign.   Complainant 1 considered that gambling was described as play. He considered sport was play and that the lottery was gambling.   Complainant 2 stated that at the end of each advertisement there was a warning which stated ‘Please Play Responsibly’ and considered given the nature of the advertisements promoting the purchase of various lottery tickets and the tag line ‘It could be you!’, that the warning should more accurately suggest ‘Please Gamble Responsibly’. He considered that all the products touted in the advertisements were games of chance with easy-to-calculate odds as to the chances of winning and that this was gambling.   Complaint Not Upheld.   Link: https://www.asai.ie/complaint/leisure-25/  
  Applegreen  Misleading / Substantiation / Environmental Claims  Two complaints were received regarding various advertisements within the campaign. One complainant objected to the Tweet and the Website while the second complainant objected to the advertisement that appeared on search engine.   Complaint Not Upheld.   Link: https://www.asai.ie/complaint/fuel/  
  Burger King  Principles / Misleading  Four complaints were received in relation to the advertisements.   The complainants considered the advertisements to be misleading as they felt the product was being represented as being suitable for vegans and vegetarians.   Complaints Not Upheld.   Link: https://www.asai.ie/complaint/restaurant-3/    
  Toyota  Principles / Misleading / Environmental Claims  Issue 1: The complainant challenged the inclusion of the wind turbines in the advertisement as they considered such imagery had the potential to mislead customers.   Issue 2: The complainant said that the other claims about fuel and CO2 savings made in the advertisement were also questionable.   Complaint Not Upheld.   Link: https://www.asai.ie/complaint/motoring-39/  

The ASAI chose to uphold seven complaints made by Intra-industry or Interested Parties in the following cases:

Company/OrganisationComplaint CategoryFurther Details
  Paddy Power    Gambling  The complainants, Extern Problem Gambling, challenged the fact that both the newspaper and radio versions of the advertising were in breach of Section 10.10 of the ASAI Code as they had not contained a message to encourage responsible gambling.   Complaint Upheld.   Advertisement found to be in breach of section 10.10 of the Code.   Link: https://www.asai.ie/complaint/betting-bookmakers-3/  
  Boylesports      Gambling      The complainants, Extern Problem Gambling, objected to the advertisement as they did not consider that the advertisement had included a responsibility message as required by the Code. The complainant considered that the statement “need help?” was not an encouragement to gamble responsibly, but rather was directed at people who were already gambling in a harmful way, when the purpose of the message was supposed to prevent harm.   Complaint Upheld.   In breach of sections 4.1, 4.4, 4.9, 4.10, and 4.26 of the Code.   Link: https://www.asai.ie/complaint/betting/  
  Eir  Misleading / Substantiation / Prices  A complaint from Virgin Media and two consumer complaints were received regarding various advertisements in the campaign. The complainants all considered that the advertising was misleading as it was promoting gigabit fibre broadband to describe all speeds within their fibre broadband portfolio.   Complaint Upheld.   In breach of sections 4.1, 4.4 and 4.22 of the Code.   Link: https://www.asai.ie/complaint/mobile-broadband/
VodafoneMisleading / SubstantiationWhyte’s Auctioneers challenged whether the claim that Vodafone’s client was “Ireland’s leading art auction house” could be substantiated. Complaint Upheld   In breach of sections 4.1, 4.4, 4.9, 4.10 and 4.33 of the Code. Link: https://www.asai.ie/complaint/telecommunications-85/
  Aldi Swap & Save  Misleading / Substantiation  Lidl objected to the advertisement on six issues.   Complaint Upheld in Part.   In breach sections 4.1, 4.4 of the Code.   Link: https://www.asai.ie/complaint/retail-supermarket-6/  
  Aldi Swap & Save  Substantiation  Tesco Ireland considered that the advertising made a clear implication that the savings were achieved by shopping in Aldi rather than with a competitor supermarket.   Complaint Upheld in Part.   In breach of sections 4.1 and 4.4 of the Code.   Link: https://www.asai.ie/complaint/retail-supermarket-7/
LidlMisleading / SubstantiationAldi objected to the advertisement on two issues.   Complaint upheld   In breach of sections 4.1, 4.4, 4.9 and 4.10.   Link: https://www.asai.ie/complaint/supermarket-8/    

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

The Sunday Times unveils new ‘Home’ supplement featuring 32 pages of eco / sustainable living, food, property and travel content

  • Best-selling Irish author and journalist Eithne Shortall appointed editor of Home
  • Home offers perfect advertising platform for brands across food, travel, and property

The Sunday Times will unveil a new supplement on 2nd May which will include top coverage on property, including the market both in Ireland and overseas, plus a range of content on eco and sustainable living, food, and travel. Entitled Home, the 32-page full colour magazine will help readers to buy and sell their home, furnish it, tend to the garden, create the perfect home office, plus advice on working from home, and working out athome. The former Move section in the Sunday Times will become part of this new Home supplement.

The arrival of the new supplement is extremely timely given that after a time of unprecedented upheaval, people are now thinking more deeply about how to arrange the protective shell called Home, as a respite from the socially distanced virus-ravaged world outside; as a comfort bubble where we don’t wear masks or endlessly clean surfaces. Home will also offer the perfect advertising platform for a wide range of brands across food, travel and property.

International bestselling Irish author and journalist, Eithne Shortall has been appointed editor of Home. She was previously the arts correspondent for the Sunday Times Ireland Edition and has also worked as a TV and radio presenter. The new supplement is an exciting personal project for Eithne and has come to fruition thanks to her passion for this area and her overall vision for the project.

Commenting on the new Home supplement Eithne said: “This section is going to be personable. It will have a familiar Home-ly feel, and the focus will be on people rather than things. A top team of writers will report on property, interiors, cooking, gardening, eco-living and many other subjects, giving advice and expertise, but also putting their own personality into the pieces.”

John Burns, Acting Editor of the Sunday Times, added: “This is the biggest change we have made to the newspaper in years, and I am really excited about this project. Home will cover not just Ireland, but also bring you the best coverage on property and lifestyle from the UK and further overseas. Above all, it will let our readers indulge in everyone’s favourite hobby – having a look around other people’s homes in order to get ideas for our own.”

www.thetimes.ie

@SunTimesIreland

The Shelter: Animal SOS

Episodes 3 and 4 sees the DSPCA tend to Trigger, a dog with a head injury, an injured fawn has emergency treatment while a terrapin is rescued from Dublin’s Grand Canal

  • Each episode offers an up close and personal look at the work of the DSPCA including the dedicated work of the veterinary team who fight to save the lives of the many domestic and wildlife animals that need their help every day

The Shelter: Animal SOS is a new series on RTÉ One that offers a behind the scenes look at the work conducted every day by the Dublin Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (DSPCA), Ireland’s oldest and largest animal welfare organisation. The programme is being aired in partnership with Purina PRO PLAN – who are dedicated to the health and well-being of pets through premium nutrition.

The six-part series, filmed at the 32-acre DSPCA facility in the Dublin mountains over the course of a year, shares the trials and triumphs of a dedicated team of care-staff, vets and volunteers as they fight to save the lives of the many animals that need their help.

The series features a huge variety of animals – from cats and dogs to birds and ponies – and provides a unique perspective on the incredible work undertaken by the DSPCA team.

The Shelter: Animal SOS

Episode 3:

TX 7th May, 2021

Elise treats Trigger, a dog with a head injury and an injured kitten called Hero, who had tried to get across a busy dual carriageway.

Maria the pregnant Chihuahua goes out to a foster home to give birth.

An injured fawn is given emergency treatment.

The Shelter: Animal SOS

Episode 4:

TX 14th May, 2021

Ireland international rugby player and full time Vet Elise makes use of her sporting skills as she tries to round up a goat for treatment.

A surrendered terrier takes an emotional toll on Tanya.

Elise and Mandy treat a terrapin that was dumped in Dublin’s Grand Canal.

Cattery care staff member Colm looks after a lost hairless cat called Fluffy.

The DSPCA, which marked its 180th anniversary in 2020, is dedicated to the promotion of animal welfare and the protection and rehabilitation of sick, abused or neglected animals, and the organization says that the the television series will give the public a realistic behind the scenes look at the great work they do to rescue, rehabilitate and rehome over 2,500 animals every year.

The series has been produced as part of a partnership agreed between DSPCA, Purina PetCare and RTÉ earlier this year.

Elise O’Byrne White, Veterinary Surgeon at the DSPCA, said: “I volunteered here and I loved it so much I now work here! It’s a really unique place to work. I don’t think there’s anything else like it in private practice because we see so much here, including all sorts of cases involving cruelty and welfare. It’s also a great place to work in terms of the team. We’ve a great veterinary team and then when you look beyond that – we have a cattery, treatment facility and all of these places filled with caring, kind and fun people who are all trying to do the same thing as you. It’s such a great pleasure to be able to come into work every day and work with that team.”

Ben Warner from Purina PetCare added: “Purina is proud to have partnered with the DSPCA for over 15 years. The Shelter: Animal SOS shines a spotlight on the essential work we know their tireless team undertakes every single day. Our Purina PRO PLAN – which uses the power of science and high-quality ingredients to develop a superior range of products – really supports this work. Every cat and dog cared for by the DSPCA is provided with Purina PRO PLAN all year round, which support’s their development and rehabilitation.”

The DSPCA, a registered charity, is dedicated to the promotion of animal welfare and the protection and rehabilitation of sick, abused or neglected animals. Located on a 32-acre site in Rathfarnham, Dublin 16, the DSPCA campus offers shelter and care to a wide variety of animals. In fact, the organisation rescues, rehabilitates and rehomes over 2,500 animals each year – domestic and wildlife.

The DSPCA has a dedicated and trained force of Animal Welfare Inspectors to investigate complaints of cruelty and neglect, to provide guidance and education to animal owners, initiate prosecutions for offences and attend to sick and injured stray animals or those which have been abandoned.

The DSPCA Vet Team works seven days a week providing critical care, carrying out lifesaving surgeries and performing over 3,000 neuter/spay operations annually. They also provide ongoing care and veterinary support to over 300 animals in the DSPCA Foster Programme.

The DSPCA also works closely with the Irish Government to keep legislation updated and implemented to further improve the lives of all animals. Founded in 1840, the DSPCA is Ireland’s oldest and largest animal welfare organisation.

The Shelter: Animal SOS airs on Fridays at 8:30pm on RTÉ One and is available to watch on RTÉ Player