The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) rulings are published every Wednesday and set out on the public record how, following investigation, the advertising rules apply and where the ASA draw the line in judging whether an ad has broken the rules.

This week’s rulings have been published, and the following advertisers have been formally investigated.

Rulings for 09 January 2019

A product listing for a jumper, seen on www.boohoo.com in September 2018, stated “Faux Fur Pom Pom Jumper”, alongside an image of the product.

A TV ad for CGON, a manufacturer of a device that was fitted to car engines, seen on 17 May 2018, stated “CGON’s range of fuel enhancement systems could cut fuel bills by between 10 and 20% and in many [sic] CGON helps stop vehicles failing their MOTs on emissions”.

Clear Score Technology Ltd – Not Upheld

A TV ad for Clear Score, a provider of personal credit score information, seen on 18 August 2018, stated “… the better your credit score, the better deals you can get on mortgages”.

A TV ad for Compare The Market seen on 23 July 2018. The ad showed four people at a dining table, including a meerkat character that said, “Everyone please, please order as many teeny tiny tapas as you wish. Thanks to your amiga, Sally, switching energy through Compare the Market I’m here to split the bill with you all…

A national press ad for Coral, seen in the Racing Post on 16 June 2018. Text stated, “PRICE BOOST Argentina v Iceland MESSI TO SCORE 2+ GOALS 5/1”. Text stating “WAS 3/1” was struck through, and beneath that further text stated, “Max bet £10 …”. Text in the small print stated, “PRIC…

Two paid-for Google ads for advice-debts.com, seen in July 2018, stated:

a.  “Citizens Advice UK… Free Debt Help… advice-debts.com”… “Do you have debts over £4,000? See if you can have 86% wiped off”.

b.  “Citizens Debt Advice… Write Off Over £4,000 of Debts… advice-debts.com”.

A TV ad for Heinz Beanz, seen in September 2018, began with two men standing in an office kitchen. One of them, who was wearing gym clothing, said, “I’ve just returned from a high intensity workout, plus a few hours of lifting some seriously heavy weights.” On-screen text stated “Protein contributes to a growth in musc…

A TV ad for Optical Express, seen on 1 August 2018, showed a series of scenes including a man proposing to a woman and a man holding a child, and a voice-over stated, “Life’s all about moments you don’t want to miss, so it’s important we see them clearly. At Optical Express we help over 99% of our patients achieve 20/2…

A paid-for Facebook post and two websites for EcoFunding Plan, an energy efficient window upgrade company.a. The post, seen on 30 August 2018, featured text which stated “Over One Hundred Million pounds of funding is available for homeowners to upgrade their windows to brand new A+ Rated Energy Efficient Windows. Find …

A TV ad for Pfizer’s Nexium Control heartburn relief product, seen in August 2018, featured a woman in various situations looking uncomfortable and holding her chest. A female voice-over stated, “I remember having frequent heartburn. I was always reaching for short-term relief, over and over. But when my heartburn kept…

A national press ad for Pressplay, seen 6 October 2018, for an Android tablet, headed “AT LAST! an Android tablet for beginners”, which discussed various benefits of using a tablet. The ad provided an opportunity for readers to order an Android tablet, as well as other products, such as a keyboard wallet, self-help boo…

A TV ad for Oral B Gum and Enamel Repair toothpaste, seen in July 2018, featured two women talking to each other. The first woman was seen looking in the mirror at the inside of her mouth and said, “Gums, they’re not worth worrying about, right?” The other replied “Wrong. Actually most problems start wit…

A poster for Go Vilnius, a development agency for Vilnius, the capital city of Lithuania, seen on 10 August 2018, stated in red text “Nobody knows where it is, but when they find it – it’s amazing. VILNIUS THE G-SPOT OF EUROPE”. The ad featured an image of a woman, visible from the upper part of her face. The woman was…

Two TV ads for Nurofen products:a. An ad for Nurofen Express seen on 10 March 2018 showed a man on a pedalo being overtaken by a speed boat with a voice-over which stated, “Sometimes the choice is obvious”. The next frame showed two drawers being opened side by side, with the left one containing a box of generic parace…

A video ad for Tall Order BMX, seen on YouTube in late August 2018, featured Sebastian Keep, a professional BMX rider, who said “Excuse me if I look a little terrified … today we are heading to what can only be described as a plughole … it’s a massive reservoir, it’s got an overflow system which … has a massive spout t…

A TV ad for Mitsubishi, seen in September 2018, promoted the Outlander plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV). The voice-over stated, “What is the new Mitsubishi Outlander plug-in hybrid? It’s electric and petrol power combined. It’s electric and a practical SUV. It’s electric and 4 wheel drive. It’s electric and deliv…

The Oxbridge Research Group Ltd t/a Oxbridge Essays – Upheld

A website for The Oxbridge Research Group, www.oxbridgessays.com, an essay writing service, seen in July 2018, included claims on the home page which stated “With Oxbridge Essays, it has never been easier to get the grades you’ve always wanted … First class? 2:1? No problem. We work with over 1,900 of the UK’s best aca…

A direct mailing and a web document for a provider of ‘trading systems’, Waverley Media, seen on 20 June 2018, promoted a scheme named ‘Daisho System’:

a.  The direct mail featured text which stated “THIS TIME YOU WON’T BELIEVE THE PRICE! Now the cleverest home trading strategy there is bar none, the one with the built-in fail safe that actually helps protect you from losing, that could enable you to retire on £9,000 to £12,000 a month is available for … A FRACTION OF THE ORIGINAL COST!!!”. Further text stated “… there’s even a 100% FREE bonus incentive of a standalone system which could enable you to make a minimum of £200 to £400 in 30 days or less and the potential to make the same every month thereafter … go ahead and take a look for yourself!”

b.  The web document featured text which stated “Now the core methods of the hugely successful Daisho System, yes the one with the built in ‘failsafe’ that actually helps protect you from losing” and “… these days, because of the simplicity of using the internet, more and more people who in the past wouldn’t have bothered, are now using online betting exchanges where they don’t bet against a bookmaker, but instead gamble against each other … Now before I go on, let me make one thing absolutely clear … I HATE GAMBLING AND SO DOES TONY… And this system is certainly not about that. This is about trading SAFELY… knowing that if you invest say £100, you could easily get £130…£150…£180 back but your original investment is never at risk”.

A product listing for a headband from Zacharia Jewellers, seen on www.amazon.com in September 2018, stated “Zac’s Alter Ego Faux Fur Pom Pom Headband”, alongside an image of the product.

 

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Previous rulings: 02 January 2019