'Enter Name & Address' by gddmZl

VIEWS: 6 PAGES: 25

									CONTENTS




       1   Complaints of Substance

      14   Summary of Other Complaints

      21   Analysis
 Complaints

 of Substance


The following complaints appear to raise issues of substance in relation to the interpretation of
the Code of Advertising Standards and Practice.



                             SCHEDULING - NSPCC
               HARMFUL


          COMPLAINT FROM     1 viewer

     NATURE OF COMPLAINT     Advertising for the NSPCC showed child actors playing the part of children
                             who had been abused. The abuse was not described in graphic detail but the
                             implications were clear and disturbing. The complainant objected that the
                             advertising was shown when her 4 year old son was watching children's
                             programmes on Channel 4 on Christmas Eve. One scene showed a parent
                             violently destroying a child's Christmas present and the complainant reported
                             that her son's attention had been drawn by the mentions of Christmas. He had
                             then been upset by the references to various kinds of abuse.


              ASSESSMENT     The BACC had warned the television companies that the advertisement was
                             unsuitable for showing in children's programmes but Channel 4 admitted that
                             human error by a junior member of staff had resulted in it appearing four
                             times in children's programmes that day. Channel 4 told the ITC that the
                             member of staff would receive extra training but the ITC asked the channel to
                             ensure in future that only suitably trained and experienced staff made these
                             scheduling decisions.


                  DECISION   Complaint upheld.




               HARMFUL       DAIRYLEA DUNKERS
                             Advertising agency: J. Walter Thompson


         COMPLAINTS FROM     115 viewers




                                                  1
NATURE OF COMPLAINT   A commercial for this new cheese sauce snack product parodied the films
                      "One Million Years BC" and "King Kong". An animated giant dinosaur
                      chased an actress dressed as a cave-woman. He grabbed her and appeared to
                      dip her head in the cheese sauce in the pack before putting her head in his
                      mouth (although the last part was not shown). The voice-over pointed out that
                      it was more usual to 'dunk' the bread sticks provided.

                      Most complainants objected that the advertisement had been unsuitably
                      scheduled when smaller children might see it. A substantial number said that
                      their young children had actually been frightened by the commercial
                      (typically, the children who found the advertising frightening were around two
                      to five years.)


                      A small number of viewers were concerned at what they saw as a degrading
                      depiction of women, or at the violence of the advertisement.

        ASSESSMENT    This was an unusual case. At first sight, the commercial seemed innocuous
                      and comparable with cartoons involving semi-comic monsters. However, in
                      the ITC's experience, the number of complainants who reported that children
                      had actually been upset was unusually high. Previous experience suggested
                      that the problem probably had two causes. One was the fact that the person
                      attacked was real, not animated. The ITC has found that very young children
                      can be upset by "gruesome" things appearing to happen to real people though
                      they are unconcerned by cartoon action. The second cause may have been the
                      screams and melodramatic music in the commercial.

                      When the problem first became apparent, the BACC placed a restriction on
                      the advertisement, excluding it from being shown in or around children's
                      programmes. This proved not to be sufficient, and once the advertiser was
                      made aware of this, it took measures to remove the commercial from other
                      daytime or early evening programmes which very young children were most
                      likely to see it. Following this there was a significant reduction in the number
                      of further complaints received.

           DECISION   The ITC welcomed the steps taken by the BACC and the advertiser but agreed
                      with viewers that the advertisement should not at any stage have been shown
                      during children's programming. 43 complaints about scheduling in or around
                      children's programmes upheld. The remaining complaints not upheld.




         HARMFUL      ADIDAS
                      Advertising agency: Leagas Delaney Partnership

   COMPLAINTS FROM    23 viewers

NATURE OF COMPLAINT   An advertisement for Adidas Trainers featured a basketball player under
                      attack from an assortment of demonic figures as he prepared to score a basket.
                      The atmosphere of the film was dark and threatening until the final shot of
                      basket scoring. All the complainants felt the advertising was unsuitable for
                      showing when young children could be watching, and eight reported that their
                      children had been frightened or upset.




                                            2
        ASSESSMENT    The advertisement had been approved by the BACC with the restriction that it
                      should not be shown in breaks during or adjacent to children's programmes.
                      On learning of the strong viewer reaction, the BACC immediately imposed a
                      further restriction to prevent it being shown before 7.30pm. The ITC
                      considered that the original restriction was insufficient and was likely to result
                      in significant numbers of impressionable children being exposed to the quite
                      disturbing images during daytime or early evening viewing. They welcomed
                      the BACC's prompt action in strengthening the timing restriction, but felt that
                      the viewers' complaints about the original unsuitable scheduling were
                      justified.

           DECISION   Complaints upheld.




      MISLEADING      ONE–TO–ONE CHATLINE
                      TVX – THE FANTASY CHANNEL


    COMPLAINT FROM    1 viewer

NATURE OF COMPLAINT   A viewer reported that he believed an advertisement for a one-to-one chatline,
                      broadcast on TVX - The Fantasy Channel, contained inadequate pricing
                      information, as his bill for a call was substantially higher than he expected.


        ASSESSMENT    The ITC found that the advertised service operated on a premium rate
                      number. Rule 38 of the ITC Code requires all such advertisements to comply
                      also with the ICSTIS Code of Practice. The ITC noted that the advertisement
                      contained the phrase "calls charged at normal international rates" but did not
                      mention the country of origin, Guyana, of the service provider. Subsequent
                      liaison with ICSTIS confirmed that the commercial contained insufficient
                      information to comply with their Code of Practice, as it did not state the price
                      per minute of the call, or the country of origin.

                      The ITC also conducted a technical check on the super-imposed text in the
                      commercial and found it to be illegible, comprising of small, almost
                      transparent white text on a light background.

                      The ITC agreed the commercial was misleading.

                      The Fantasy Channel confirmed that they had revised their compliance
                      procedures in light of this incident.

           DECISION   Complaint upheld. The advertisement had ceased transmission before the ITC
                      began investigations.




      MISLEADING      CLAIROL HYDRIENCE
                      Advertising agency: BST-BDDP


    COMPLAINT FROM    1 competitor

                                            3
NATURE OF COMPLAINT   L'Oreal objected to an advertisement for Clairol's Hydrience hair colourant,
                      alleging that it was misleading in giving viewers the impression that Clairol
                      had invented water-based hair colouring products. The advertisement
                      included the following statements: "Want to see our totally new way to get
                      permanent hair colour" and "Breakthrough to new Hydrience, the first water
                      based colour creme ... from Clairol".

                      L'Oreal maintained that Hydrience was not a "breakthrough" nor a "totally
                      new way" of colouring hair, as their products Belle Colour and Excellence,
                      both of which were water-based products, preceded it. They considered that
                      the wording, combined with the visuals of cascading water, gave the
                      impression of innovation and that this would lead viewers to believe that
                      Clairol were announcing a new technological breakthrough as opposed to
                      using established technology for the first time.




        ASSESSMENT    The BACC and the advertiser reported that they considered the claims in the
                      advertisement to be "internalised" and were intended to illustrate that the
                      product was a breakthrough for Clairol rather than to relate to other
                      manufacturers. They explained that the first claim was clearly phrased as
                      being "..our totally new way.." and the second was qualified with "..from
                      Clairol". They also commented that the term "breakthrough" was there to
                      invite consumers to change to a new product rather than to allude to a
                      technological innovation.

                      The ITC acknowledged that the words used were consistent with this
                      interpretation. When looked at in the context of the television advertisement,
                      however, the ITC did not believe that this meaning would be the one apparent
                      to viewers.     It was more likely that viewers would understand the
                      advertisement as claiming that Hydrience was the first water based product on
                      the market, and that Clairol had brought it to them. The use of the word
                      "totally" seemed to suggest a global rather than an internalised claim. The use
                      of the expression "our totally new way" did not dispel this impression and, in
                      any case, the word "our" was delivered by the presenter in a way which was
                      barely audible.

           DECISION   Complaint upheld. The ITC required the internalisation of the claims to be
                      made clearer before the advertisement returned to air.




      MISLEADING      GREEN FLAG
                      Advertising agency: TBWA Simons Palmer


    COMPLAINT FROM    1 viewer

NATURE OF COMPLAINT   This advertisement showed a reconstruction of a Green Flag repairer going to
                      the aid of a driver suffering a blocked fuel line and conducting a repair. It
                      closed with a statement "Cover starts from only £29.50 per year".

                      A viewer complained that, when he called to take up the service, he was
                      informed that the repair of a blocked fuel line would not be included in the
                      £29.50 level of cover. He felt this was therefore a misleading scenario to
                      show in the advertisement.




                                           4
        ASSESSMENT    The BACC forwarded information from the advertiser that confirmed that the
                      £29.50 level of cover would not encompass faults that could be repaired at the
                      roadside, such as a blocked fuel line. Customers suffering such faults and
                      holding only the basic cover level would therefore be billed for parts and
                      labour for their repair. The advertiser believed that the commercial made no
                      attempt to suggest that the blocked fuel line scenario would be covered by the
                      £29.50 level of cover, as the two references were quite distinct.

                      The ITC considered that viewers would not make such a distinction on
                      viewing the commercial as the whole storyline concerned a blocked fuel line
                      incident. The ITC judged it would be reasonable for viewers to expect the
                      featured scenario to be included in the level of cover mentioned in the end-
                      frame. The ITC required the commercial to be withdrawn until the
                      misleading impression was rectified.

           DECISION   Complaint upheld




      MISLEADING      SKIPTON BUILDING SOCIETY – TELETEXT



    COMPLAINT FROM    1 viewer

NATURE OF COMPLAINT   The Skipton Building Society offered holders of Halifax free shares the
                      opportunity to deal their shares for a fixed commission fee of £15 per
                      certificate. The advertisement did not refer to a limit on the number of shares
                      that could be traded.

                      A viewer reported that the Skipton Building Society declined to let him take
                      up the offer because they believed that the maximum number of free shares
                      that could be held on one certificate was 1181, whereas the complainant had
                      1381. The viewer felt the advertisement was misleading because it made no
                      mention of a limit on the number of shares.


        ASSESSMENT    The advertiser reported that prior to advertising the offer they had contacted
                      the registrar responsible for the Halifax share issue to ask how share
                      entitlements would be distributed. They were informed that the maximum
                      holding on one certificate would be 1181. In light of this information the
                      advertiser considered that those certificates detailing holdings of greater than
                      1181 were outside the free share entitlement and therefore ineligible for the
                      fixed fee offer.

                      As a result of this complaint the advertiser subsequently discovered that the
                      maximum number of Halifax free shares which could be held on one
                      certificate was 1381 and the advertising was amended to reflect that the
                      maximum number of shares which could be traded for the fixed commission
                      was 1381.

           DECISION   Complaint upheld.




      MISLEADING      PANTHERGATE BRACELET – QVC




                                            5
    COMPLAINT FROM    1 viewer

NATURE OF COMPLAINT   A bracelet advertised for sale on QVC was described in on-screen text as
                      being 8 inches long. A viewer who purchased the item complained that the
                      advertising was misleading as on receipt he discovered it to be only 7 ½
                      inches long and therefore too small for his wife’s wrist.

        ASSESSMENT    QVC confirmed that the item had been incorrectly described on-screen as
                      being 8 inches long. They attributed this to human error in transferring the
                      product details held on file to screen.

                      The ITC agreed that the advertising had been misleading.

           DECISION   Complaint upheld.




      MISLEADING      BRITISH TELECOM -DISCOUNT CALL
                      Advertising agency: Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO


                      Staff Intervention

NATURE OF COMPLAINT   Through routine monitoring the ITC found that superimposed text detailing
                      the limitations to a range of BT discounts was set against changes in
                      background which rendered the text insufficiently legible. The ITC instructed
                      the BACC to suspend broadcast until it was brought into compliance with the
                      ITC Code Rule 8 on captions and superimposed text. The advertisment was
                      amended promptly and then continued its run.

      MISLEADING      BOOMERANG TRAVEL - TELETEXT



    COMPLAINT FROM    1 viewer

NATURE OF COMPLAINT   Return flights to Australia were advertised at a fare of £635. The statement
                      "fare valid fr London or any UK port at no xtra charge" qualified this price.

                      A viewer living in Inverness who wished to use his local airport complained
                      he was told that the price was only available for flights departing from
                      Edinburgh or Glasgow. He believed the advertisement was misleading.

        ASSESSMENT    Teletext confirmed that the advertisement should have stated that the fare was
                      available from any UK airport that was served by British Midland, as opposed
                      to "any UK port".

                      The ITC considered that without this qualification the advertisement was
                      misleading.

           DECISION   Complaint upheld.




                                           6
      MISLEADING      CONNECTIONS - TELETEXT



    COMPLAINT FROM    1 viewer

NATURE OF COMPLAINT   A viewer reported seeing holidays in the Costa Brava advertised at £29.
                      When he called to book one of these holidays he was told that he must have a
                      fault on his television, as they did not have any holidays available at that
                      price.

                      The viewer maintained that £29 was the advertised price.


        ASSESSMENT    Teletext reported that human error by the advertiser, one of their direct input
                      clients, had resulted in a "9" being missed from the end of the price. The
                      error had not come to light until the viewer called to book the advertised
                      holiday, some seven days after the advertisement first appeared on air. The
                      error was corrected shortly after the viewer's call.

                      Whilst the ITC accepted that there had been no intention to mislead viewers,
                      they expressed concern at the length of time the incorrect advertisement had
                      remained on air without being corrected.

                      It agreed the advertisement had been misleading.

           DECISION   Complaint upheld.



      MISLEADING      DAILY MIRROR
                      Advertising agency: M & C Saatchi


    COMPLAINT FROM    1 viewer

NATURE OF COMPLAINT   Advertising for the Saturday 28 February edition of The Mirror claimed
                      "Trevor Rees-Jones tells his astonishing story, a world exclusive, only in the
                      Mirror (Scottish Mirror). Starting tomorrow". The complainant sent the ITC
                      a copy of the paper and pointed out that Mr Rees-Jones did not start to tell his
                      story in that edition. All readers found was, in effect, a trailer for his story
                      which he only started to tell in the following Monday's paper.

        ASSESSMENT    The agency argued that the background information was integral to Mr Rees-
                      Jones's story, but the ITC concluded that the claim had been misleading.

           DECISION   Complaint upheld.




      MISLEADING      CARLTON FOOD NETWORK
                      Advertising agency: Doner Cardwell Hawkins

    COMPLAINT FROM    1 viewer

NATURE OF COMPLAINT   A promotion on the Carlton Food Network advertised the CFN Easter Club
                      Pack available to CFN Network Club members. The presenter stated that it
                      was "totally free" to join the Network Club. A viewer objected that
                      membership could not be free, as it was necessary to make a long call to an
                      0891 number at 50p per minute to join the club.


                                            7
        ASSESSMENT    Rule 38 of the ITC Code stipulates that advertising for Premium Rate services
                      must comply with the ICSTIS Code of Practice, which states (Rule 3.8): "No
                      product or service may be promoted as being free...if the most obvious or
                      practical way of obtaining it is by using a premium rate service". As the
                      number promoted to join the CFN Club was an 0891 premium rate number,
                      the ITC judged that the advertisement was likely to breach the ICSTIS Code,
                      and thereby be in contravention to ITC Rule 38. The ITC also considered the
                      promotion to be misleading by using the word free, when a portion of the
                      0891 call cost would go as revenue to the advertiser.

                      Carlton Food Network apologised for the error, whilst pointing out that the
                      call to the CFN Club lasted only 1 minute 15 seconds. They confirmed that
                      the promotion was currently off-air, and that when it returned the word "free"
                      would be replaced by "for the cost of a £xx.xxp phone call...". The ITC
                      welcomed this action.

           DECISION   Complaint upheld.




      MISLEADING      BARCLAYS BANK MORTGAGES
                      Advertising agency: Lambie Harper Ltd.


                      Staff Intervention

NATURE OF COMPLAINT   A prize draw entitled "the Great Mortgage Pay-Off" was advertised by
                      Barclays Mortgages. Viewers who were "thinking of buying a new home"
                      were advised to go to any Barclays branch to enter. Superimposed text
                      explained that no purchase was necessary and that prize draw details were
                      available within branches.

                      Whilst raising a query on a related advertisement, Teletext Ltd. made the ITC
                      aware of a significant condition governing entry to the draw, namely that
                      potential entrants were required to either obtain a mortgage quotation from
                      Barclays within a given time period, or apply for a mortgage.

        ASSESSMENT    The BACC, who had approved the advertisement without mention of the
                      condition, did not consider that viewers would be in any way misled by its
                      omission. The advertiser, in addition, commented that it was reluctant to
                      include the condition in the advertisement, as it would then become subject to
                      the advertising provisions of the Consumer Credit Act, and would have to
                      include further statutory information.

                      The ITC noted the advertiser's objections but nevertheless considered that the
                      entry requirements were significant. Obtaining a mortgage quotation involves
                      revealing personal and financial details and requires a commitment of time.
                      The ITC considered that the condition should, therefore, have been included
                      in the commercial.

                      The ITC instructed the advertisement to be withdrawn from air until amended.




                                           8
      MISLEADING      AIC COMMUNICATIONS
                      THE   CHINESE   CHANNEL                  &     CHINESE        NEWS        AND
                      ENTERTAINMENT

   COMPLAINTS FROM    4 viewers

NATURE OF COMPLAINT   An advertisement on The Chinese Channel and Chinese News and
                      Entertainment for AIC Communications promoted telephone call rates to
                      Hong Kong, Malaysia, China and Taiwan, stating: "AIC Telecom charges a
                      flat rate throughout the day. Open an account with AIC today and receive a £5
                      cash voucher", and featuring a table of rates to these destinations. Call rates
                      to Hong Kong, for example, were shown as 18.24p. Four viewers complained
                      that the advertising was misleading as the rate was in fact 23p.

        ASSESSMENT    The Chinese Channel, on behalf of the advertiser, agreed that the standard rate
                      to Hong Kong was 23p and explained that the prices shown were special offer
                      prices net of a 5% bonus and a £5 cashback. The bonus and the cashback (in
                      the form of a redemption voucher) applied when a new customer joined the
                      scheme and deposited minimum £30 into their account and spent at least £30
                      on the telephone service in the first month. On-screen text below the main
                      price table stated: "The above prices include the benefit of the £5 cash
                      voucher and 5% bonus".

                      The ITC acknowledged that the prices were qualified by the on-screen text but
                      considered the advertisement did not make it clear that :

                      a) the prices shown were special offer rates which reverted to a higher rate at
                      the end of the first month.

                      b) the discount and cashback were not automatically applied when opening an
                      account, but had to be "earned" via the minimum deposit and the minimum
                      first month's spend.

                      The ITC concluded that viewers would be likely to believe the rates featured
                      were standard rates and that the discounts were more easily available than in
                      fact they were. It judged the advertising to be misleading, and required that it
                      be amended to clarify the pricing and discount structure before returning to
                      air.

           DECISION   Complaints upheld.



      MISLEADING      MIDLANDS GAS
                      Advertising agency: Cogents


   COMPLAINTS FROM    1 viewer
                      2 competitors




                                            9
NATURE OF COMPLAINT   An animated advertisement for Midlands Gas, part of the Midlands Electricity
                      Board, stated "If you switch to Midlands Gas, your bill goes down. By up to
                      30%. Or around £60 a year off the average gas bill". A caption read: "Based
                      on 650 therms p.a.". The complainants considered the advertisement to be
                      misleading for two reasons:

                      1. The 30% saving would be achieved at an annual consumption rate so low
                      that hardly anybody would qualify for it, and that it was therefore unfair to
                      quote it.

                      2. That the advertisement gave the impression that both the 30% and the £60
                      saving were based on the average consumption of 650 therms per annum,
                      whereas this was not in fact the case, the 30% being achieved only with a
                      much lower consumption figure.

        ASSESSMENT    1. The ITC found, by comparing the Midlands Gas and British Gas tariffs,
                      that a 30% saving could only be achieved at a consumption level of around 29
                      therms. This is an extremely low level of usage, equating to an annual bill of
                      around £45 to £60, depending on supplier. The ITC was informed by British
                      Gas that only a few hundred people (out of nearly two million gas consumers)
                      in the Midlands region used this little gas. Whilst acknowledging that the copy
                      claimed "up to 30%", the ITC considered it was misleading to use as the main
                      headline of the advertisement a level of cost reduction that the vast majority of
                      consumers would be unable to achieve.

                      2. The ITC agreed with the complainants that viewers were likely to regard
                      the 30% and the £60 as being the same saving off a bill based on an average
                      650 therm consumption. It judged that viewers could be misled into believing
                      that the average saving on switching to Midland Gas was more significant
                      than it actually was. Calculations seen by the ITC suggested that average cost
                      reductions were likely to be around 10-15%.

                      The advertisement finished its run during the investigation. The ITC required
                      that it be amended to reflect a more realistic level of saving, and that the
                      distinction between the average and the maximum savings be made clear
                      before returning to air.

           DECISION   Complaints upheld.




      MISLEADING      MOBILE PHONE ADVERTISING
                      Advertising agencies: Orange – WRCS
                                            One 2 One – Bartle Bogle Hegarty
                                            Vodaphone – BMP DDB
                                            Woolworth – Bates Dorland

   COMPLAINTS FROM    9 viewers
                      1 staff intervention




                                             10
NATURE OF COMPLAINT   Orange "Just Talk" - 3 complaints
                      One 2 One "Up 2 You" - 1 complaint
                      Vodaphone "Pay As You Talk" - 4 complaints
                      Woolworth (Vodaphone) - Staff intervention

                      All the above new mobile phone systems dispense with contracts and fixed
                      monthly charges. Instead, customers pay a lump sum for the phone plus a
                      voucher or card which entitles them to make calls for a specific number of
                      minutes or up to a specific value.

                      The complainants pointed out that, in all cases, use of the cards or vouchers is
                      time-limited. If the minutes are not used up within the period (typically
                      between 30 and 90 days) the remaining time is lost and a new card must be
                      bought. The complainants thought that the commercials implied that the
                      vouchers or cards are like a conventional BT phonecard - without time limits.

                      Orange claimed "No monthly charge and no written contract....Simply top up
                      with talk-time whenever you need it".

                      One 2 One claimed "I use vouchers for my calls and you're free because
                      there's no bills or contracts to sign". Superimposed text read "Terms and
                      conditions do apply".

                      Vodaphone claimed "There's no strings or contracts.....you don't have to do
                      anything again. You buy this phone in a box, then nothingness until infinity.
                      You buy, like a phonecard when you want to use it and then just talk". A
                      version for Woolworth Vodaphone (which received no viewer complaints)
                      omitted the first sentence. In both commercials featuring Vodaphone,
                      superimposed text read "Initial connection valid for 30 days. After 30 days,
                      or once calls have been used, further connection or calls require purchase of a
                      top-up card".


        ASSESSMENT    BACC and One 2 One argued that, because these were new and unfamiliar
                      services, viewers had no reason to make any assumptions about how they
                      work. The ITC did not accept this and judged that viewers would think that
                      the cards or vouchers would work like conventional phonecards - without
                      limits. Since the ability to pay-as-you-go with a mobile phone would be a
                      very attractive proposition for many viewers, the ITC judged that the time
                      limits were a significant limitation which should have been made clear in all
                      cases.

                      Orange: The advertising agency, WCRS, argued that, as they had clearly
                      mentioned "top-up cards", they had not wanted to confuse viewers by adding
                      more detail. For the reasons outlined above, the ITC did not accept this.
                      WCRS also pointed out that viewers could find out more by calling the free
                      phone number in the advertisement or visiting a store. The ITC did not
                      consider this an adequate justification for omitting from the commercial a
                      reference to a significant limitation.

                      One 2 one: The ITC considered the caption "Terms and conditions do apply"
                      to be insufficient warning of a significant condition.

                      Vodaphone: As a general principle, the ITC does not accept that misleading
                      advertising can be corrected by the addition of superimposed text if that text
                      simply contradicts the main message.

                      In this case, the caption contained a condition (i.e. the need to buy top-up
                      cards) which, in the ITC's view, clearly contradicted the "no strings" message.

                      The One 2 One and Orange advertising finished their runs during the
                      investigation. The other campaigns were removed.

           DECISION   Complaints upheld.
                                           11
       OFFENSIVE      OXY ON-THE-SPOT
                      Advertising agency: Grey Advertising


   COMPLAINTS FROM    4 viewers

NATURE OF COMPLAINT   An advertisement for Oxy On-the-Spot acne treatment showed a male
                      teenager put in an embarrasing situation when his mother found his girlfriend's
                      bra in the glove pocket of her car. They then came across the girlfriend at a
                      football field, and the mother drove slowly past the girl dangling the bra out of
                      the car window. Three viewers felt that the subject matter was unsuitable for
                      younger viewers and that it set a bad example, and one was specifically
                      concerned that the advertisement was being shown when very young children
                      could be watching, at 4.20pm.

        ASSESSMENT    The advertisement had been cleared without restriction by the BACC. The
                      ITC did not consider that the subject matter or treatment was inappropriate for
                      general audiences, but judged that the allusion to teenage sexual behaviour
                      made the commercial unsuitable for showing adjacent to children's
                      programmes. The ITC drew the BACC's attention to Rule 4 of ITC Guidance
                      Note 9 which stipulates that "advertising which contains even relatively mild
                      references to sexual behaviour should not be shown immediately adjacent to
                      children's programmes" and required them to place the appropriate scheduling
                      restriction on the advertisement.

           DECISION   One complaint about scheduling upheld.




 MISCELLANEOUS        INAPPROPRIATE BREAKS
                      TELEWEST


    COMPLAINT FROM    1 viewer

NATURE OF COMPLAINT   A viewer in the Twickenham area believed that advertisements were being
                      inserted into programmes by Telewest, his local cable company, other than
                      during proper advertising breaks.




                                           12
        ASSESSMENT    ITC staff had previously raised a similar concern during the course of routine
                      monitoring. Local advertisements were being inserted into programmes at
                      inappropriate times, without any separation between programme and
                      advertising material and in such a way that parts of the programme were being
                      lost. Telewest explained that they believed the cue tones transmitted by one
                      of their programme suppliers, Turner Broadcasting, were faulty and led to
                      local advertising being inserted at points other than during the advertising
                      breaks when they were scheduled. When the nature of the problem was
                      recognised, Telewest withdrew all local advertisements until the technical
                      problem had been resolved.




                      The ITC were concerned that Telewest appeared to have no system for
                      monitoring their transmissions and were therefore unaware of the problem
                      until alerted by the ITC. Following discussions with the ITC Telewest drew
                      up a draft action plan aimed at improving their monitoring and compliance
                      capability. While welcoming this initiative the ITC noted that this was the
                      third occasion when scheduling errors had led to upheld complaints (see the
                      Advertising Complaints Report for August 1997) and that in each case a
                      failure to have adequate monitoring systems was identified as a contributory
                      factor. Telewest received a formal warning from the Commission that any
                      further failures of this kind could result in a statutory sanction.

           DECISION   Complaint upheld and a formal warning issued.



 MISCELLANEOUS        REAL PSYCHIC NETWORK
                      SCI-FI NETWORK


    COMPLAINT FROM    1 viewer

NATURE OF COMPLAINT   A viewer reported seeing advertisements for the above company on the Sci-Fi
                      Network. He believed they were for services connected with the occult and as
                      such breached the ITC Code.

                      The Sci-Fi Network provided copies of the two advertisements they had
                      broadcast for the Real Psychic Network. Both were for premium rate
                      telephone services costing £1 per minute. One offered live consultations with
                      "gifted and experienced psychic readers", the second offered live
                      consultations with "gifted and experienced tarot card readers".

        ASSESSMENT    Rule 18 (ii) of the ITC Code of Advertising Standards and Practice prohibits
                      advertisements for products or services coming within the recognised
                      character of, or specifically concerned with the occult. Some recorded
                      services have been permitted on the grounds that they are clearly for
                      entertainment only and not personalised or varied according to the
                      circumstances of the individual. This was not the case in this instance.

                      The Sci-Fi Network reported that they had not considered the services
                      advertised to fall within the definition of the occult. They removed the
                      advertising from air immediately they were informed they were unacceptable
                      under the ITC Code.

           DECISION   Complaint upheld.




                                          13
 MISCELLANEOUS        SCHEDULING
                      ZEE TV & GENERAL CABLE


   COMPLAINTS FROM    2 licensees

NATURE OF COMPLAINT   Zee TV complained that their programmes carried in the Windsor and
                      Hillingdon - Houslow areas by General Cable had been interrupted at points
                      other than natural advertising breaks by General Cable's insertion of
                      promotions for a new Asian service, SET (Sony Entertainment Television).
                      General Cable counter-complained that Zee TV had run promotions for their
                      own programme service during their own programming. Both complainants
                      claimed that the placing of these promotions was in breach of the ITC's Rules
                      on Advertising Breaks.

        ASSESSMENT    During January 1998 General Cable announced their intention to replace Zee
                      TV on their cable networks with a new rival Asian television service, SET.
                      Zee TV began inserting promotions into the advertising breaks of its
                      programme service offering advice that would enable viewers to continue to
                      receive Zee TV after the changeover to SET on the cable network. General
                      Cable objected to this strategy and began to block Zee TV's signal by
                      replacing the Zee TV promotion with one of their own for the SET service. In
                      response, Zee TV began to insert a scrolling version of its promotions, which
                      appeared overlaid onto its programmes.

                      ITC rules require that advertising shall be readily recognisable as such and
                      kept quite separate from programmes by the use of optical and/or acoustical
                      means. For all purposes except the calculation of advertising time,
                      promotions by a broadcaster are treated as advertisements.

                      The ITC ascertained that in the course of blocking the Zee TV promotions
                      General Cable had manually inserted their own material and that this had on a
                      number of occasions resulted in the promotion running on past the end of the
                      advertising break. Thus the return to the programme had not been marked by
                      an audio or visual indicator and part of the programme had been marred by
                      the running-on of the General Cable promotion. This was a clear breach of
                      ITC rules.

                      General Cable explained that the blocking of the Zee TV promotions had
                      occurred over just one 24-hour period and had been an initiative taken by one
                      of their staff without authorisation. As soon as this had come to the attention
                      of senior management it had been stopped. As a result of this incident,
                      internal procedures were being reviewed and employees reminded of the need
                      to comply.

                      Zee TV admitted that they had inserted a scrolling caption over their
                      programming as a way to prevent General Cable from blocking their
                      promotions shown during advertising breaks. This was a clear breach of ITC
                      rules.

                      The ITC could see that each party was frustrated by the actions of the other
                      but that did not excuse a "tit-for-tat" reaction that inevitably led to breaches of
                      the ITC rules. However, in view of the brief duration of the incidents and the
                      unique nature of the circumstances, it was considered that on this occasion no
                      further action was necessary.

           DECISION   Both complaints upheld.




 MISCELLANEOUS        SCHEDULING
                      PLAYBOY CHANNEL ADVERTISING, SKY NEWS
                                            14
COMPLAINTS FROM   Complainants reported seeing an advertisement for “The Playboy Channel” at
                  7.15 am on Sky News. The commercial included shots of scantily-clad
                  women, and the complainants felt the subject was inappropriate for viewing at
                  that time of day.

    ASSESSMENT    The ITC noted that the commercial had been approved for broadcast by the
                  BACC with the restriction that it should only be shown after 11.00pm.

                  The broadcaster apologised for the inappropriate scheduling and explained
                  that this had been due to a technical failure of their electronic broadcast
                  management system.

       DECISION   Complaints upheld.




                                       15
             Summary of

             Other Complaints


          Advertisements for the products or services listed below attracted
          complaints which after preliminary assessment, did not raise issues of
          substance requiring further investigation.

          These included complaints repeating points already considered and
          covered in previous summaries, as well as isolated expressions of
          personal opinion or experience which did not call into question the
          conformity of the advertisements with the requirements of the ITC
          Code of Advertising Standards and Practice.




          Product or Advertisement                     Date First    Number of
                                                       Reported      Complaints
HARMFUL   AA Membership                                                       2
          Alton Towers                                                         1
          Anti-Smoking                                                         1
          Birds Eye Fish Fingers                                               2
          BMW M3                                                               2
          British Airways                                                      1
          Burtons Jammie Dodgers                                               1
          Calgon                                                               1
          Child Immunisation                                                   1
          Clean & Clear                                                        1
          Coca-Cola                                                            1
          Cow & Gate                                                           1
          Daewoo Cars                                                          1
          Flash Spray                                                          1
          Galaxy                                                               1
          Kelloggs Special K                                                   1
          Launa Windows                                                        1
          Lemsip                                                               1
          Lilt                                                                 1
          Lucozade NRG                                                         1
          Mars Twix                                                            1
          McDonalds - corporate                                                2


                                     16
                Mercury One 2 One                                        1
                Mr Muscle                                                2
                Nicotinell Gum                                           1
                Nike                                                     2
                NSPCC                                                    1
                Pampers                                                  1
                Partnership For Change                                   1
                Powergen                                                 1
                Red Magazine                                             1
                Solpadeine                                               3
                Sprite                                                   1
                Starburst                                                1
                The Guardian                                             1
                Toyota Avensis                                           1
                Volkswagen Polo                                          3




                Product or Advertisement            Date First   Number of
                                                    Reported     Complaints
MISCELLANEOUS   Anchor Butter                                             1
                Anti-Smoking                                             1
                ATI Home Security Systems                                1
                British Gas                                              1
                British Telecom                                          2
                Chiquita Bananas                                         1
                Co-Op Stores                                             1
                Cow & Gate                                               1
                DER Rentals                                              1
                Galaxy                                                   1
                Iceland                                                  1
                Ionica                                                   1
                Lombard Direct Loans                                     1
                McDonalds - corporate                                    1
                New Zealand Lamb                                         1
                Newsweek International                                   1
                Playboy Channel                                          1
                Rolling Rock                                             1
                Royal Bank of Scotland Mastercard                        1
                Sanatogen                                                1
                Sun Newspaper                                            1
                Transco                                                  2
                Worthington                                              1


                                           17
             Product or Advertisement             Date First   Number of
                                                  Reported     Complaints
MISLEADING   AA Membership                                              2
             Abbey National                                            1
             ABC Solicitors Group                                      1
             Airtours - Teletext                                       1
             Amerada Hess Gas                                          1
             Anchor Butter                                             2
             Anti-Smoking                                              1
             Ariel                                                     1
             Atlantic Telecom                                          2
             Barclaycard                                               1
             BASF                                                      1
             Ben's Travel - Teletext                                   1
             Boots Opticians                                           2
             Britannia Home Video                                      1
             British Telecom                                          31
             British Telecom (Penny per Minute)                       10
             British Telecom-Friends &Family                           2
             Busch Gardens                                             1
             Cable & Wireless                                          2
             Calgon                                                    1
             Capital Bank                                              1
             Cheltenham & Gloucester                                   1
             Clairol Hydrience                                         1
             COI - France 98                                           4
             Comet                                                     1
             Concept Cars                                              1
             Daily Mail                                                1
             Daily Mirror                                              1
             Danish Bacon                                              2
             Dept of Social Security Benefit                           1
             Direct Line Motor Insurance                               4
             Direct Vision Rentals                                     1
             Dove Soap                                                 1
             Eurostar                                                  1
             Everseal                                                  1
             Exclusive Photography                                     2
             Fairco McIihagga Windows                                  1
             Film Trailer - Devils Advocate                            1

                                        18
Ford Cars                             1
Ford Mondeo                           1
Freedom Direct - Teletext             1
Glade Plug Ins                        1
Global Video                          2
Gold - Teletext                       1
Green Flag                            1
Guinness Draught                      1
Head & Shoulders                      1
Hidden Hearing                        1
Holmes Place                          1
Iceland                               1
Ipswich Building Society - Teletext   1
Kelloggs Cornflakes                   1
Kodak Gold                            1
Kronenbourg 1664                      1
Learn & Understand Astrology          1
Lunn Poly                             2
Mail on Sunday                        2
Mattel Barbi Stable                   1
McVities                              1
MDM Golden Wedding Coin               1
National Accident Helpline            1
National Consumer Survey              1
National Lottery                      1
Network Q                             1
News of the World                     1
Nissan Micra                          1
Nokia Phones                          1
Norwich Union Healthcare              1
Oreck XL Vacum Cleaners               1
Pampers Unisex                        2
PC World                              2
Peugeot 406                           1
Premier Bathrooms                     1
Prudential Home Insurance             1
Prudential Pensions                   1
QVC Jewellery Section                 1
QVC Product                           5
RAC Insurance Direct                  1
Racing Tipsters - Teletext            1
Revlon Hair Products                  1


                             19
            Ronseal                                                 1
            Royal Mail                                              1
            Safestyle UK                                            1
            Safeway                                                 1
            Shoe Tailor                                             5
            Shredded Wheat Fruitful                                 1
            Solpadeine                                              1
            Stakis Organisation - Teletext                          1
            Star Trek Coin                                          1
            Sun Newspaper                                           2
            Teletext Card - Teletext                                1
            Television X The Fantasy Channel                        1
            Tesco                                                  12
            Text Travel Cyprus - Teletext                           1
            The Daily Telegraph                                     2
            Torvill and Dean Show                                   1
            Toyota Avensis                                          1
            Travel City - Teletext                                  1
            Trust Motors                                            1
            TV Licence Evasion                                      1
            TV Shop                                                 3
            Video Release - Peter Pan                               1
            Volkswagen Polo                                         2
            Volvo V70                                               1
            Yellow Brick Road Mortgages                             1




            Product or Advertisement           Date First   Number of
                                               Reported     Complaints
OFFENSIVE   AA Membership                                            1
            Allied Dunbar                                           1
            Always Pads                                             2
            Andrex                                                  1
            Anti-Smoking                                            1
            Ariel                                                   1
            Barclaycard                                             1
            Batchelors Super Noodles                                4
            Beamish                                                 2
            Birds Eye Frozen Peas                                   4
            Bodyform                                                1
            Boursin                                                 1
            Burger King                                             1
            Burtons Jammie Dodgers                                  1
                                        20
Calvin Klein Cosmetics              1
Canon                               1
Carlsberg                           1
Child Immunisation                  3
Clorets                             1
Coca-Cola                           2
COI/DVLA -Vehicle Tax               1
Colmans Mustard                     2
Community Service Announcement      1
Computer Active Magazine            2
DER Rentals                         1
Diet Coke                           1
Ferrero Kinder Chocolates           1
Fiat Punto                          1
Galaxy                              1
Gay Exchange Chatline               2
Grand Theft Auto                    1
Guinness Draught                    3
Harvester Restaurants               1
Hula Hoops                          2
Ikea                                1
Kelloggs Special K                  1
Kleenex Tissues                     1
Kotex                               7
Lilt                                1
Lockets                             4
McDonalds - corporate               3
Music - Caribbean Uncovered         1
Netto Foodstores                    1
Ovaltine                            1
Pampers                             2
Persil Performance                  1
Peugeot 306                         1
Playboy Channel                     1
Royal Mail Stamps                   1
Saab UK                             1
Sterling Furniture                  2
Sunday Business                     2
Television X The Fantasy Channel    1
Video Release- The Full Monty       1
Volkswagen Passat                   1
Volkswagen Polo                    22


                            21
22
         There were also complaints of a generic character referring to the following matters :-


                Product or Advertisement                        Date First      Number of
                                                                Reported        Complaints
MISCELLANEOUS   Amount of Advertising                                                    2
                Formula One                                                               14
                Home Shopping                                                              2
                Noise                                                                      5
                Subliminal Advertising                                                     2




                Product or Advertisement                        Date First      Number of
                                                                Reported        Complaints
   MISLEADING   Home Shopping                                                            2
                Miscellaneous comments                                                     1
                Superimposed Text                                                          4
                Toy Advertising                                                            1




                Product or Advertisement                        Date First      Number of
                                                                Reported        Complaints
    OFFENSIVE   Death references                                                         1
                Gay Chatlines                                                              2
                Miscellaneous comments                                                     1
                Sanitary Protection Products                                              19
                Sexism - Men                                                               1




                                           23
                   Analysis

                                               COMPLAINTS DETERMINED IN MARCH 1998

                            Number of                   Number of                   Number of
                            Complaints              Advertisements        Advertisements about
                                                        referred to      which complaints were
                                                                            upheld wholly or in
                                                                                          part

     HARMFUL                   142     (0)                  40     (0)                   3      (0)

   MISLEADING                  231    (13)                 121    (13)                  14      (3)

    OFFENSIVE                  160     (0)                  59     (0)                   1      (0)

MISCELLANEOUS                   61     (0)                  27     (0)                   4      (0)

                               594    (13)                 247    (13)                  22      (3)




                                                                          YEAR TO DATE 1998

                            Number of                   Number of                   Number of
                            Complaints              Advertisements        Advertisements about
                                                        referred to      which complaints were
                                                                            upheld wholly or in
                                                                                          part

     HARMFUL                   327     (0)                 125     (0)                   4      (0)

   MISLEADING                  563    (42)                 327    (41)                  28      (5)

    OFFENSIVE                 1240     (0)                 184     (0)                   3      (0)

MISCELLANEOUS                  210     (3)                  87     (3)                   8      (1)

                              2340    (45)                 723    (44)                  43      (6)




                The numbers in brackets indicate Teletext advertisements. They are extracted from,
                not additional to, the overall numbers.




                                             24

								
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