This weeks rulings have been published. The following advertisers have been formally investigated by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

Rulings for: 19 July 2017

A Google sponsored search result for a web-hosting company featured text that stated, “123-reg Web Domain Names – Get Your .co.uk For Only 0.99p … Choose the UK Domain Name Experts – .CO.UK Domain 99p – .UK Domain 99p … Web Hosting Only £2.49/m …”.

A TV ad for the BMW 5 Series, seen on 8 March 2017, showed a man driving through countryside and then through a city. At one point while he was driving, he swiped his hand across a built-in screen alongside the car’s dashboard. The voice-over stated “Introducing the new BMW 5 Series. Ambition raised”.<…

A paid for Facebook ad and a website for Cocoalocks.com seen in April 2017:

a. The Facebook ad showed an image of a woman holding the cocoa locks product and an image of her long hair and included text which stated “I Grew My Hair 7 Inches in 3 Months, Here’s How I Did it …”.

b. The website www.cocoalocks.com, for Cocoalocks.com, , included claims such as “Longer, Stronger & Thicker Hair. Guaranteed”; “Clinically Proven Fast Hair Growth”; “I am in love with Cocoa Locks! I just finished up my 3 month program and my hair is longer, stronger and my hair grew 5 inches in the first 2 months”; and “Increased collagen production for extra strength, Decrease in hair loss, Increased speed in hair growth, Prevention of hair breakage”.

A TV ad for Colgate Total Proof toothpaste, viewed on 21 April 2017, featured a voice-over that stated, “You brush your teeth every day. But wouldn’t you feel better if you could see and feel it cleaning? Colgate Total Proof. It turns into a blue foam as you brush, fights bacteria and reduces plaque. So …

A website for property listing page Houser Ltd, www.houser.co.uk, seen in March 2017, for a house in Lincolnshire.

Two magazine ads for Longstone Classic Tyres:

a. The first ad appeared in The Automobile, dated March 2017, and included a photograph of a woman lying on her back, with a partial view of a vehicle tyre. One leg was bent at the knee with the other leg crossed over it and the woman had tools in her hand and appeared to be doing repairs to the tyre. The woman was fully clothed but her skirt was pulled up around her waist, revealing stockings and suspenders and her underwear showed the underside of her buttocks and the top of her thigh on one leg and the inner thigh of the other leg.

b. The second ad appeared in “Safety Fast!” the MG Car Club magazine, dated April 2017, and included a stylised illustration of a red classic car in the background. In the foreground, a woman stood dressed in a bra, knickers, tights and suspenders, elbow length black gloves, wearing high heels with one leg bent at the knee and displaying a coquettish manner.

The Jupiter Blue website www.jupiterblue.co.uk, seen in February 2017, included a product page for a loft hatch that stated they were available “From £49.50”. Below the price, three boxes allowed consumers to choose a size, lock option and quantity.

A website and a Facebook post for Laura Ashley:

a. The home page of the website www.lauraashley.com, seen in December 2016, advertised an “Up to 50% off Sale”. The terms and conditions page of the website stated that the sale ended on 2 January 2017.

b. The post on Laura Ashley’s Facebook page, posted on 21 December 2016, stated “Seasonal Offers, up to 60% off. 21 December – 2 January”.

Two TV ads for Sixt Rent a Car Ltd and a video in a pinned tweet on their Twitter page seen in March 2017:

a. One TV ad showed a woman telephoning her father from a hospital room to tell him she had had triplets. Her father took the call from the driving seat of a stationary car. His right hand was out of sight but he held the phone in his left hand and replied “That’s nothing”. He threw the phone behind him and placed both hands on the steering wheel. The shot widened before he drove off, showing that the car had been stationary on the forecourt of a Sixt hire centre.

b. The second TV ad showed a woman telephoning her parents to tell them she had decided to move in with her “spirit guru and lover, Keith”. Her mother took the call from the driving seat of a stationary car. She held the steering wheel in her right hand and the phone in her left hand and replied as the man in ad (a). She put the phone down and placed both hands on the steering wheel. As in ad (a), the shot widened before she drove off, showing that the car had been stationary on the forecourt of a Sixt hire centre.

c. The video ad, seen on 3 March 2017, showed a woman telephoning a man. She said “I’m pregnant. It’s yours. I’m keeping it”. The man took the call from the driving seat of a stationary car. He had both hands on the steering wheel and no phone was visible. He replied as above. Also as above, the shot widened before he drove off, showing that the car had been stationary on the forecourt of a Sixt hire centre.

A TV ad and a national press ad for Sky broadband, seen in July 2016:

a. The TV ad began with an animated dog playing an online music video and asking her friends to dance with her as the music played in the background. One agreed to dance with her, but at that moment the music skipped and then stopped, and the video image broke up and froze. The dog said, “Oh no … bad broadband! Bad!” She jumped up and down on the wifi router, which started smoking. Her friend said, “You need Sky broadband … It’ll keep you dancing all night long.” A voice-over stated, “Switch to super reliable Sky broadband” over on-screen text which stated “Super Reliable Sky Broadband”.

b. The national press ad included the claim “Super Reliable Sky Broadband Unlimited”.

A website, www.ehicdirect.org.uk, for a commercial company that offered services to check and submit applications for the NHS European Health Insurance Card on behalf of customers was seen in December 2016.

At the top of each page of the website text stated “EHIC Direct European Health Insurance Card…

An email for The Tanning Shop, dated 6 March 2016, said “Use our UV to get YOUR Vitamin D!” and “Exposure to UV light is the most powerful way to promote Vitamin D production and using a responsible tanning programme is by far the most efficient!” At the top of the ad was …

A regional press ad and website, www.yorkshiresfinest.org, for Yorkshire’s Finest, an estate agent,:

a. The website, seen during 2016, featured an image of a map with the locations, Leeds, Halifax, Huddersfield, Wakefield, Bradford, Denby Dale and Holmfirth shown on the relevant parts of the map with telephone numbers for each location. Text directly underneath was headed, “Our Offices” with the same locations listed.

b. The regional press ad, seen in February 2017, featured text which stated “Contact your local office” with the listings for Leeds, Halifax, Huddersfield, Wakefield, Bradford, Denby Dale and Holmfirth and telephone numbers for each.

 

ASA adjudications provide important guidance to advertisers on how the Advertising Codes are to be interpreted. They act as a transparent record of their policy for consumers, media, government, industry and society at large on what is and isn’t acceptable in advertising.

If you are unsure how your activities fit within the rules, please take advantage of our Bespoke Advert Review service. Our fast and confidential service is essential for advertisers, agencies, media owners/providers, who want to check how their prospective advertisements (broadcast and non-broadcast) measure up against the UK Advertising Codes.

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Previous rulings: 12 July 2017