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 –

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


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 in between “studying”.


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


Complaint Upheld



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



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




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



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




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




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




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




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




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



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




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




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




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.




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.






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




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.


Or follow the ASAI on Twitter @THE_ASAI



Ion Solutions collaborates with International Golf Federation for the World Amateur Team Championships

Global event takes place at Carton House this week  

Ion Solutions, the Irish-owned specialist provider of audio-visual solutions to companies nationwide and across the world, are working with the Golfing Union of Ireland and the Irish Ladies Golfing Union to provide services and technology to the World Amateur Team Championships, which takes place at Carton House, Maynooth, from Wednesday August 29 to Saturday September 8 2018.

Conducted by the International Golf Federation, which comprises the national governing bodies of golf in more than 125 countries, the World Amateur Team Championships are a biennial international amateur golf competition rotated among three geographic zones of the world: Asia-Pacific, American and European-African.

This is the first time that the World Amateur Team Championships has been held in Ireland and the first in six years that the event takes place in Europe. The 2018 event is being held in Carton House, with competitors staying in the Athlete’s Village in the grounds of Maynooth University.

Ion Solutions has been tasked with ensuring that every part of the Championships enjoys state of the art technology and connectivity. Four 5mm Absen X5 outdoor LED screens will be dotted at key vantage points throughout the golf course, with a five-metre-wide Absen X5 mobile LED trailer screen displaying the leaderboard at the 18th hole. Weather and event updates will be sent to all screens.

Additionally, Ion Solutions are providing the stage lighting and audio-visual equipment for the opening and closing ceremonies which will take place in the beautiful grounds of historic Carton House and a Gala Awards dinner which will be held in Maynooth University on Saturday, September 1.

Graham Lowen, Director of Ion Solutions, says: “At Ion Solutions, we work with a range of pioneering global brands, which means we are in a position to deliver top class, reliable technology to our clients. We’re delighted to work with the Golfing Union of Ireland and the Irish Ladies Golfing Union to provide a customised solution for the World Amateur Team Championships at the Carton House. The team have put a lot of hard work and dedication into this project and we are thrilled to be involved. We are very much looking forward to working with the Golfing Union in Ireland and the Irish Ladies Golfing Union on this project.” 

Alan Kelly, Communications Manager at the Golfing Union of Ireland, says: “Ion Solutions have demonstrated to us in the past their technical capabilities in delivering smart solutions both on and off the golf course. It made absolute sense to us to involve them in this project given the scale of the event. From concept to design and implementation, the team at Ion Solutions leave nothing to chance and it’s their commitment to achieving the best possible results for everyone involved that makes them the standout choice as our technical partner.”

Ion Solutions is the market leader in the design, supply, installation and integration of audio visual display systems, broadcast television systems, digital video production systems and computer graphics systems, as well as digital signage and wayfinding solutions.

The company was formed in early 2018 when sister companies Eurotek Ireland and Avtek Solutions, market leaders in the visual communications sector, amalgamated to operate under a single name. The operation, which is already setting new standards in the global visual communications industry, is 100% Irish owned, headquartered in Sandyford, Dublin and has grown to employ over 70 people.

The company has worked on contracts for a range of clients across a variety of sectors including, broadcast, retail, healthcare, hospitality and educational facilities as well as corporate venues. Clients include the likes of RTÉ, Ireland West Airport, Aviva Stadium, Convention Centre Dublin, Kerry Group, Croke Park Dublin, the SSE Arena Belfast and the Virgin Media Group.

The Ion Solutions team includes specialists in IT networking, video engineering, design, integration and sales. The company has invested significantly in developing and updating its technological capacity to ensure it can provide excellent products and high-end customer service and technical advice.

Ion Solutions is a member of the International Communications Industry Association and complies with its rules and standards.


For more information and regular updates, check out

or follow us on Twitter @IonSolutionsLtd


The Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland to participate in EASA Accountability Mechanism to monitor voluntary initiative to change how food and beverage companies advertise to children

Leading companies sign up the EU Pledge and commit to changing the way they advertise to children

ASAI will take on the role as part of their contribution to the European Advertising Standards Alliance


The Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland (ASAI) has announced they have joined forces with the European Advertising Standards Alliance (EASA), in providing a complaints mechanism for the EU Pledge, a voluntary initiative by leading food and beverage companies to change the way they advertise to children.

Endorsed and supported by the World Federation of Advertisers, the EU Pledge is a response from industry leaders to calls made by the EU institutions for the food industry to use commercial communications to support parents in making the right diet and lifestyle choices for their children, particularly those under the age of 12.

The initiative consists of two main commitments:

  • No advertising for food and beverage products to children under the age of 12 on TV, print and internet, except for certain nutritional products. 
  • No communication related to products in primary schools, except where specifically requested by, or agreed with, the school administration for educational purposes.

These are minimum common standards that enable joint monitoring and accountability. Individual companies can apply corporate standards that go above and beyond these common rules.

The EU Pledge is a commitment to the EU Platform EU Platform for Action on Diet, Physical Activity and Health , which is of the main tools of the Strategy for Europe on Nutrition, Overweight and Obesity-related health issues.

Platform members commit to concrete actions to fight against obesity and overweight related problems. This has resulted in over 300 commitments by industry and civil society on food reformulation, advertising and marketing, labelling, nutritional education and the promotion of physical activity in the EU.

To facilitate the EU Pledge initiative, EASA has recently established an EU Pledge Accountability Mechanism. Nine experts, drawn from EASA member organisations, will form a wider panel from which an adjudicating panel will be drawn. A representative from the Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland will sit on the wider panel and contribute, if selected, to the adjudicating panel.

Orla Twomey, CEO of the ASAI, says:

“As members of the European Advertising Standards Alliance, the Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland are committed to promoting the highest standards of marketing communications. The EU Pledge requires an accountability mechanism and the ASAI look forward to taking part in this process.” 

Mr. Lucas Boudet, Director General of EASA, says:  

“The European Advertising Standards Alliance provides the EU Pledge with the expertise of its advertising self-regulatory network in handling consumer complaints. It thus builds on its long-standing collaboration with the EU Pledge and helps to bring it one step further. The independent monitoring of the EU Pledge Commitment by EASA is now completed with a full-fledged accountability mechanism.” 

The Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland is financed by the advertising industry and committed, in the public interest, to promoting the highest standards of marketing communications that is advertising, promotional marketing and direct marketing. The objective is to ensure that all commercial marketing communications are ‘legal, decent, honest and truthful’.

The ASAI accepts complaints from any person or body who considers that a marketing communication may be in breach of the Code. To view the full ASAI Code of Standards for Advertising and Marketing Communications in Ireland (7th edition), go to


To find out more

go to or follow the ASAI on Twitter @ THE_ASAI


Get snap happy and enter your creative, nostalgic and evocative summer images in the FBD ‘Irish Summer’ photography competition

20 finalists will see their winning image proudly displayed

in the FBD tent at the National Ploughing Championships

Thanks to our fantastic weather, cameras have been clicking all over the country capturing wonderful images of Summer 2018 and FBD want to see your summer snaps!

The FBD ‘Irish Summer’ photography competition is seeking images that perfectly capture what Summer 2018 means to you. Whether it’s a photo of a donkey enjoying a 99 cone, your kids jumping into the sea, your nana and grandad visiting the Cliffs of Moher or simply enjoying lunch outdoors in the Kerry or Wicklow sun, FBD would love to see how you and your family have been enjoying these blissful summer months.

20 entries will be shortlisted and these pictures will be exhibited in the FBD tent at the National Ploughing Championships, taking place in Screggan, Tullamore, Co Offaly from 18th to 20th of September. All 20 finalists will receive tickets to attend the National Ploughing Championships to view their image on display.

The overall winner of the FBD ‘Irish Summer’ photography competition will be announced at the National Ploughing Championships and will receive a fantastic hotel voucher worth €450. Great runner up prizes will also be on offer.

To enter, just log on to the FBD Insurance Facebook Page, fill out a short application form, upload your chosen photograph(s) and add a brief description as to why you think your image deserves to win. T&C’s apply. Best of luck!

If you are attending the National Ploughing Championships in September, please visit our stand to view the 20 finalist photographs which will be on display. You will also meet a range of well-known faces along with a host of kiddie friendly events taking place each day. Please call by and say hello – we look forward to seeing you there! 


For more details about FBD, check out or follow us on

Facebook – FBD Insurance – and Twitter @fbd_ie

Thai Cave Rescue was the most important news story of June and July according to Core’s Cultural Index

Ireland’s on-going heatwave ranked in second place followed by Ryanair pilot strikes

Warning from Children’s Ombudsman about ‘invisible’ homeless children had lowest level of awareness

The Thai Cave Rescue was the most important news story in Ireland in June and July 2018 according to the monthly Cultural Index from Core, Ireland’s largest marketing communications company.

The Cultural Index, generated by the research practice of Core, examines awareness amongst the general public of the top news stories making headlines, and the importance of such stories in the context of Irish society and culture. Surveying 1,000 people, two scores – awareness and importance – are combined to give a 100 point Cultural Index scale which shows how engaged people are with various news stories.

When 12 members of a Thai soccer team and their 25-year-old coach became trapped in a cave north of Chiang Rai, their battle for survival captured the attention of a global audience. Over 4.4 million stories featured online about their rescue and the story rankest highest amongst those surveyed, with an awareness of 92%. When the importance of the story was factored in, this gave a Cultural Index scoring of 74.5, taking the top spot on the leader board.

Ireland’s longest heatwave in over forty years was the second most important story, generating 90% of overall awareness amongst respondents. When the importance of the story was factored in, this gave a Cultural Index scoring of 69.8.

Ryanair was the third story featured on the Cultural Index as the company was forced to cancel and postpone a large number of flights due to industrial action by their pilots. Awareness of this story ranked highly amongst the public, with 91% of the Irish public aware of the strikes. When the importance of the story was factored in, this gave a Cultural Index scoring of 63.4.

As a result of the good weather, some stories, which may have ranked higher at another time, appear to have been overlooked by the public. The story which had the lowest level of awareness – just 31% of all adults – was the Children’s Ombudsman sounding a warning about ‘invisible’ homeless children and family hubs. However, among those who were aware, this story scored the highest level of importance, with 85% claiming it as important or very important.

Other stories overlooked were former Anglo-Irish executive David Drumm’s suspended sentence and that Dublin house prices are now €150,000 higher than in 2013. People were more aware of Love Island, The World Cup and the Pope’s visit.

The full top ten stories to feature on the Core Research Culture Index for June / July 2018 were:

  1. Boys football team rescued from Thai cave                                            74.5
  2. Ireland has the longest heatwave since 1976                                         69.8
  3. Ryanair cancel flights due to strikes                                                        63.4
  4. US policy separates immigrant parents and children                          62.5
  5. US president Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un meet              59.4
  6. Prime Minister Theresa May forces through proposed Brexit plan  55.2
  7. World Cup takes place in Russia                                                              54.9
  8. Three men injured in a shooting in Bray Boxing Club                         52.4
  9. Trump attends NATO and is met by protestors in the U.K.                49.8
  10. Prince Harry and Meghan visit Dublin                                                    42.5



To view the full findings of the Core Research Cultural Index June – July 2018, please click here:

Dance Around Your Handbag Once Again, with music with words for your dancing pleasure –

Strictly Handbag is Back for One Night Only!

Saturday 22nd September 2018 – The Sugar Club, Leeson street, Dublin 2.

Doors: 7:30 to 3am

  • Strictly Handbag takes the spotlight for one night on the 22nd September 2018
  • Originals Handbag DJ’s Mick Heaney, Conor Ferguson, Dave Haslam, Dandelion, Fergus Murphy, Mark Kelly, Aidan Kelly and more will provide music with words for your dancing pleasure.
  • Live Musical acts including The Strictly Handbag Band, Mike Hanrahan, Leslie Dowdall and Paul Harrington
  • All funds will go towards The 3 Amigos & The Martin Thomas Trust in association with Jigsaw, in support of Youth Mental Health

Legendary club night, Strictly Handbag, returns to the Dublin nightlife scene for one night only to take you on a nostalgic trip back to the 80’s & 90’s, to Celebrate 25 years of ‘Music with words for your dancing pleasure’, and the man that made it all happen – Martin Thomas, at The Sugar Club on Saturday the 22nd September 2018 at 7:30pm till bedtime...

Relive your youth, meet old friends and make new memories, to the soundtrack of the 80’s and 90’s with plenty of prizes and surprises throughout the night. Music on the night is brought to you by the original handbags DJ’s including, Mick Heaney, Conor Ferguson, Fergus Murphy, and Dandelion, who will be joined by Dave Haslam [ Yellow Manchester] and John Locke. Set across 3 rooms, the lounge will feature live acts such as Paul Harrington, Mike Hanrahan and Leslie Dowdall.

Under one large glitter ball, join The Strictly Handbag Band, and all the DJs as we dance around our handbags and celebrate Martin Thomas, the ‘Prince of Clubland’ and the man who brought you legendary nights such as the infamous Strictly Fish, Songs of Praise, and Ultra Lounge.

Tickets are €20 and available on the Sugar club website—celebrating-25-years or at All proceeds are in aid of The 3 Amigos & The Martin Thomas Trust in association with Jigsaw, in support of Youth Mental Health.

Don’t worry if you can’t make it, you can simply donate HERE . A little help goes a long way.  

Jigsaw Chief Executive Officer Joseph Duffy commented;

 “Without the commitment of our supporters in the community, we simply cannot support all our young people that deserve our help. In order to drive the change we see as essential in youth mental health, we see this innovative schools programme as one that can inform, support, educate and empower a wide section of our educators, enabling a better understanding of our collective responsibility in supporting young people’s mental health. Fundraising events like these enable us to put these plans into action.”

Revive those memories that have lasted you a quarter of a life time. Whether you are reliving the good old days or scouting out what you missed, Strictly Handbag can’t wait to dance until dawn to celebrate the best of Dublin and the people who made it happen.

‘Like’ Strictly Handbag on Facebook here  follow us on Twitter @strictlyhandbag and RSVP to the event

Smurfit Kappa Ireland joins Guaranteed Irish

Guaranteed Irish is the not-for-profit organisation championing homegrown and international businesses operating in Ireland