This week’s rulings have been published. The following advertisers have been formally investigated by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).
Rulings for: 15 November 2017
- University of East Anglia – Upheld
A website for the University of East Anglia (UEA), www.uea.ac.uk, seen on 9 June 2017, featured a black box including text stating, “Top 5 for student satisfaction (National Student Survey 2005-2016)” at the bottom of the homepage
- Falmouth University – Upheld
A website for Falmouth University, www.falmouth.ac.uk, seen on 10 June 2017 featured text stating “The UK’s No 1 Arts University (for three years running)” in “The Sunday Times League Table 2017” on a webpage titled “League Table Results”. Additionally, on the third page of …
- University of Leicester – Upheld
A paid for Facebook post for the University of Leicester, seen on 17 July 2017, featured text stating that the university was “a top 1% world university” and “A World Ranked University”.
- University of Strathclyde – Upheld
A website for the University of Strathclyde, www.strath.ac.uk, seen on 8 June 2017 featured a webpage titled “Physics” that included a headline stating “We’re ranked No.1 in the UK”. Below this featured text stating “The Department of Physics at the University of Strathclyde, in t…
- Teesside University – Upheld
A website and a social media post for Teesside University:
a. The website www.tees.ac.uk, seen on 1 August 2017, featured text stating “Top university in England for long-term graduate prospects. Government longitudinal outcomes data 2016”.
b. The paid-for tweet from the Teesside University Twitter account, dated 5 July 2017, stated “The top uni in England for long-term graduate prospects. Apply for Sep ‘17”.
- University of West London – Upheld
A regional press advertorial for the University of West London (UWL), seen on 20 June 2017, featured text stating that UWL was “named as London’s top modern university – and one of the top 10 in the UK – in the Guardian University Guide 2018”.
- Alternative Airlines Ltd – Upheld
A website for Alternative Airlines, www.alternativeairlines.com, seen on 11 July 2017, provided facilities for consumers to search for and purchase holidays. A results page listed various holidays in line with search criteria entered. Once a customer clicked through the results page option “CONFIRM SELECTION”, they …
- Combe Inc t/a Vagisil – Not Upheld
A TV ad for Vagisil anti-itching creme, seen in July 2017, stated “Did you know there are over 60 reasons your intimate area could feel itchy? Let’s do something about it. Vagisil medicated creme. Get the fast relief you need”.
- Croner Group Ltd t/a employeradvice.org – Not Upheld
A website and google sponsored search result seen on 2 January 2017 promoting a service offering employment legal advice:
a. The website www.employeradvice.org featured text that stated “employeradvice.org The Free Advice Service for Employers call our FREE helpline now on …”. Below this was the text “Free Acas Employment Law Advice For Business Owners and Employers …” and adjacent to this was a form that consumers needed to complete and submit with text at the top that stated “Contact Us For Free Expert Advice”. Further down the page was text that stated “Employer Advice is a 24/7, UK-based employment law helpline for employers … 24/7 employment law advice based on the Acas Code of Practice Call Employer Advice’s qualified experts at any time, any day and as often as you like to solve your employment law, HR or staff management problems fast. If you face a grievance meeting, disciplinary or any other issue, we’ll give you instant, actionable advice to free you from stress and save you time and money … It’s why we’re here 24/7, ready to offer you free advice based on the Acas Code of Practice …”.
b. The google sponsored search result featured text that stated “Get ACAS Standard Advice – Free Employer Helpline Ad www.employeradvice.org/Helpline/ACAS 0808 … Free Yourself From Your Biggest Employment Law and HR Problems. Call Now 24/7 Helpline – Employment Law Specialist – Helpline For Employers …”.
- DotNetPages Ltd t/a OddsMonkey – Upheld
A video on the home page of www.oddsmonkey.com, seen on 5 June 2017, stated “For years Odds Monkey has helped over 30,000 people earn up to £1,500 per month”.
A brochure for Healthy Living Direct, seen in June 2017, contained ads on one page for various products including a number of sex toys and sex aids. Two of the products, a sex toy entitled “The Pleasurable Way To Relieve Stress” and “Erecta Prompt Cream” had appeared in a previous ASA Adjudication. The ad also conta…
- Mist Fire Suppression Ltd – Upheld
The homepage of the website for the Nebula fire mist system www.mistfs.co.uk seen on 24 April 2017 featured the claim, “Systems tested in accordance with BS8458:2015.” Text on a moving image carousel stated “Designed, installed and certified to current Building regulations – BS8458”. On a separat…
- Moresand Ltd t/a TravelHouseUK – Upheld
A website for TravelHouseUK, www.travelhouseuk.co.uk, seen on 20 June, included a flight listing which stated “Price £355.67pp AAL JNB Departure 30 Oct 2017 Class Economy Return 13 Nov 2017 Travellor Adult”.
- Plusnet plc – Upheld
A Facebook ad and an online banner ad for the broadband provider Plusnet plc promoted their broadband product for businesses:
a. The Facebook ad, seen on 28 March, featured the text “£4.50 a month for Unlimited Business Broadband. Order today!” Underneath, there was an image of a man alongside more prominent text which stated “Unlimited Business Broadband from £4.50 a month”, in which the price “£4.50” appeared in a larger text size. Smaller text below stated “When you take a 24 month contract – £10.50 a month line rental”.
b. The banner ad, seen on 28 March, stated “Unlimited Broadband from £4.50 a month” with the price “£4.50” appearing in a slightly larger text size. Smaller text underneath stated “24 month contract – £10.50 a month line rental”. At the top of the ad, text stated “Business Broadband”.
- Redbart Shoes Ltd t/a Goodwin Smith – Upheld
Ads for Goodwin Smith Shoes seen in August 2017:
a. An email included the claim “Fancy a pair?” and was accompanied by an image of three women wearing just knickers, with one woman’s breasts exposed, the second covering her chest with her arm with her nipple exposed and the third posed in front of the others holding a pair of shoes over her chest. Above the image was the company tag line “Bucking good shoes”.
b The company’s own website www.goodwinsmith.co.uk, included the claim “Fancy a pair?” and was accompanied by an image of two women who were topless, wearing only knickers and covering their breasts with shoes.
c. A Facebook post seen on their own page included the text “Watch the explicit campaign video on Youtube now” accompanied by an image of three woman wearing just knickers, two women covered their breasts with shoes and the third covered her breasts with her arm.
d. A Facebook post seen on their own page included the text “Watch the full [no under 18] version on Youtube now” and featured the ‘not suitable for under 18s’ emoji. Underneath was a still image of a video that featured a woman wearing black underwear on her knees in front of a fully clothed man who was holding a plastic machine which released paper money notes in quick succession at her face.
e. An email titled “WE DID WARN YOU”, which included the ‘not suitable for under 18s’ emoji, showed an image of three women and three men. One of the women was topless and wore a saxophone around her neck. A second woman wore just a pair of knickers, high heels and a foam finger. She was pressed against a man and was slightly bent over showing her bare buttocks. The three men were fully clothed. Above the image was the company tag line “Bucking good shoes”.
f. A Youtube video appearing on Goodwin Smith’s channel, titled “FANCY A PAIR? (EXPLICIT VERSION) AW17”. Before the video played, text appeared which stated “Sign in to confirm your age. This video may be inappropriate for some users”. The video contained three women and three men. For the duration of the video, the men remained fully clothed. In some scenes, the three women wore black lingerie and in others they were topless, wearing nude thongs and high heels. Throughout the ad the women were dancing and interacting with the men. One shot featured a topless woman with the phrase “FANCY A PAIR?” written on the screen. Other scenes included: a woman on her knees facing a man who was using a machine to shoot ‘paper money notes’ into the woman’s face; a topless woman serving a man a drink; and men shaking up a bottle of liquid, then spraying it across the room.
- Royal Mail Group Ltd – Upheld
A paid-for video ad on Twitter and a Video On Demand (VOD) ad for Royal Mail:
a. The video ad on Twitter, seen on 27 July 2017, featured a scene with customers and staff in a bank. A short while later a gang of men in balaclavas with baseball bats entered the bank and shouted, “This is a robbery”. The staff and customers in the bank were made to get on their knees with their hands held up and were threatened with the baseball bats. One female member of staff was grabbed repeatedly by the shoulder and the wrist and asked her full name and date of birth by one of the assailants. Other customers were asked similar questions about their personal identity, passwords and log-in details, while a member of the gang appeared to type the information on a hand-held electronic tablet. One customer offered a gang member money to which he said, “We don’t want your money”. Throughout the scene the members of the public, which included a child, were shouted at aggressively by the assailants, appeared scared and some were crying. One gang member asked another, “Got it?” they replied, “Got it all”, after which the gang left the bank. On-screen text stated “Your identity is now your most valuable possession”. Text at the end of the ad stated, “LET’S BEAT IDENTITY FRAUD” followed by text that stated “Visit our ID Fraud Centre for help and advice”, accompanied by the Royal Mail logo and the text, “The future in safe hands”.
b. The VOD ad, seen on ITV Player on 9 August 2017 at approximately 9.00 pm during an episode of Coronation Street, was the same as ad (a).
A radio ad for Ease Your Mortgage, a mortgage securitisation company, heard on 2 April 2017, claimed “Breaking News, Ease your mortgage announces that 8 out 10 mortgages have apparently been sold by your lender. We believe you may have a legal case if your lender failed to follow correct procedures. It will only cos…
- Skill on Net Ltd – Not Upheld
A leaflet for an online casino, playojo.com, seen on 29 June 2016 featured text on the front that stated “Play your ojo Wheel and win Free Spins! …”. At the bottom of the leaflet was small print that stated “No deposit required. Min. withdrawal £20. The OJO Wheel guarantees Free Spins if you select the ‘Wheely Easy’…
- Virginia Medical Supplies Ltd – Upheld
A regional press ad for Salin Plus, a natural salt therapy, seen in the Down Recorder on 26 October 2016 and several other dates up to 17 February 2017, stated in the headline that “COPD, Asthma and Sinusitis sufferers can get relief with Natural Salt Therapy – No Masks or Tubes”. The ad stated that “according to ph…
- Wahoo Fitness (UK) Ltd – Upheld
Two YouTube videos on the channel “Global Cycling Network (GCN)” were seen in March 2017:
a. The first video was titled “Unboxing The Wahoo Elemnt Bolt Bike Computer” and featured the vlogger Simon Richardson sitting at a table. The video started with Simon stating, “Welcome to GLN boxing, this week we have an absolutely brand new product to show you, it is the Wahoo Elemnt Bolt Bike GPS Computer. And there is so much going on in here, I’m going to have to be speedy.” Simon proceeded to unbox the product and offered viewers a chance to win the product. Following that, Simon discussed how to use the product and its different features.
Text beneath the video contained in the description box, which appeared when a ‘show more’ button was pressed, stated “Thanks to Wahoo Fitness for the products used in this video. All views expressed in this video are the presenter’s own”. Further down in the box, text stated “Thanks to our sponsors …” and listed a number of sponsors including Wahoo Fitness.
b. The second video was titled “GCN Flanders Challenge – Wahoo Elemnt Bolt First Look” and featured the vloggers Simon Richardson and Matt Stephens. The video started with Matt stating, “The Wahoo Elemnt Bolt is new to the market, so we thought we would devise a challenge to see what they – and us to be fair – could do.” The video continued with Simon and Matt riding a bike using the Wahoo Elemnt Bolt. A voice-over stated the product’s uses and its different features. The video ended with Simon stating, “If you are after a little bit more information about Wahoo Elemnt Bolt then I have unboxed it and you will get to know everything that it does, so if you want that click just down there”.
Text beneath the video contained in the description box, which appeared when a ‘show more’ button was pressed, stated, “Thanks to Wahoo Fitness for the products used in this video. All views expressed in this video are the presenter’s own”. Further down in the box, text stated “Thanks to our sponsors …” and listed a number of sponsors including Wahoo Fitness.
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Previous rulings: 08 November 2017