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Posts Tagged ‘Advertising Standards Authority’

Ad Watchdog Slams Tesco for ‘Misleading’ Horse Meat Crisis Campaign

Here’s a hint: when creating a damage control campaign, make sure your information is correct, because “spread the blame” strategies can come back to bite you.

UK retailer Tesco, which found itself in trouble last year over traces of horse meat detected in various products including Burger King sandwiches, has been criticized by the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority for making “misleading” claims. These charges related to a full-page release published in UK papers earlier this year under the headline “What burgers have taught us.

It’s an effective damage control statement, and the BBC even called it “a strange bit of poetry”, but it also reads like a cop-out.

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Ad for London Taxi Company Slammed for Featuring Seemingly Battered Woman

As women, we know it isn’t terribly safe to walk home alone at night, and that taking a licensed cab may be a good idea. But we really don’t need an ad to show us the horrific things that could potentially happen if we opt to walk.

At least that’s how angry Londoners felt after receiving promotional postcards featuring the image at left. Many felt that the ads, distributed by London cab company Data Cars, insinuated that if women don’t take a cab home at night, they run the risk of being assaulted.

Angry comments left on the company’s Twitter page and several complaints filed with the Advertising Standards Authority and Transport for London stated that the way the clearly-distressed woman appears to be carrying her clothes (which are wrapped around her arm like a makeshift bandage), coupled with the bruise-like shadowing on her body, suggest that she has been assaulted, possibly raped.

Katie Russell from the charity, Rape Crisis, called the postcard:

“…a really unfortunate and misguided piece of advertising. The best case scenario, giving the company the benefit of the doubt, is that they’re not aware of the associations that the image on this postcard conjures. The worst case scenario is that they’ve knowingly used scare-mongering, sexist and victim-blaming imagery and messaging in a cynical marketing ploy.” Read more

New Advertising Strategy: Get the Competition’s Ads Pulled

We recently told you about the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) pulling a clever Soda Stream ad for allegedly “denigrating” the competition (i.e. Coke and Pepsi) even though neither company’s products appeared in the commercial. This over-reaction demonstrates a larger trend in Brittan’s advertising world — the ASA now fields a record number of complaints about ads, and the complaints just keep rolling in.

Did commercials become more offensive all of a sudden? Or is this less an issue of individuals being offended by ads than of organizations using complaints to further their own causes and companies trying to squash competitors by getting their ads pulled? (Hint: it’s the latter.)

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