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TELEVISION ADVERTISING COMPLAINTS JUNE 2000

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TELEVISION ADVERTISING COMPLAINTS JUNE 2000 Powered By Docstoc
					         JUNE 2000
         EMBARGOED
         Not for use before 00.01 hours
         on Tuesday 1 August 2000




         Television


         Advertising


         Complaints




REPORT
How Television Advertising

is Controlled


The ITC is the statutory body created by the Broadcasting Act 1990
to licence and regulate commercial television in the UK. It remit
extends to all commercially funded television services broadcasting
from the UK, including satellite and cable services. The Act requires
the ITC to draw up and enforce a code on advertising standards and
practice. The ITC also has a duty under the Control of Misleading
Advertisements Regulations 1988 to consider complaints about
misleading television advertisements.

The ITC set standards for television advertising through its Code of
Advertising Standards and Practice. This is adopted and reviewed
after wide public consultation. The ITC also consults regularly with
the Government and has a duty to carry out any government
directions about categories of products and services which may or
may not be advertised. In addition, the ITC receives regular advice
on advertising standards from an external advisory committee
comprising representatives of both consumer and advertising
interests.

The ITC enforces compliance through a combination of prevetting
requirements and direct intervention. It requires the television
companies it licenses to employ trained staff to check advertising
carefully before accepting it for transmission. In particular they are
required to satisfy themselves that any claims are accurate and,
where appropriate, to inspect documentary evidence or seek the
advice of independent consultants. The majority of television
advertising is vetted by a central body called the Broadcast
Advertising Clearance Centre (BACC) who act on behalf of a
number of ITC licensees collectively, including ITV, GMTV,
Channel 4, Channel 5, BSkyB and UK Gold. In practice, most
television advertising is submitted initially in script form and
clearance for film production is given only when the BACC, or the
individual company, is satisfied that there will be no breach of the
rules. Where there is doubt about interpretation of the rules the
television companies are encouraged to seek guidance from the ITC.
These procedures, which are more searching than those applicable to
any other advertising medium, ensure that the vast majority of
advertisements which appear on television do not breach the rules.
The ITC does, however, monitor the finished output closely and
where necessary intervenes to require non-complying advertising to
be withdrawn. A decision by ITC to suspend or discontinue an
advertisement has mandatory and immediate effect and there are
severe sanctions for non-compliance.

The ITC considers all complaints which it receives about advertising
and, where an investigation is necessary, requires the television
companies to submit background material to it promptly so that an
assessment may be made with a minimum of delay.                  All
complainants receive a personal reply to their complaint.
CONTENTS




       1   Complaints of Substance


      14   Summary of Other Complaints


      23   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.


             MISLEADING      APPLE COMPUTERS
                             Advertising agency: TBWA Simons Palmer

          COMPLAINT FROM     1 viewer

     NATURE OF COMPLAINT     Advertising for Apple's new computer claimed "The all-new iMac. Now with
                             Desktop Video" and showed the results that users could expect from using
                             video editing software with their camcorders.

                             The complainant objected (a) that only more expensive iMacs were powerful
                             enough to do the work shown and (b) that the advertising exaggerated the
                             image quality that the computer could produce.

              ASSESSMENT     (a) The ITC found that, although the particular model shown in the
                             commercial came complete with the iMovie software and was powerful
                             enough to run it, this was not the case with all iMacs in the range. It
                             concluded that the advertising had been misleading on that account.

                             (b) Apple gave the ITC categorical assurances that "the screen image ....was
                             taken from an iMac and output through a scan converter" before being
                             inserted into the advertising. As a general principle, ITC accepts that
                             advertisers will sometimes be unable to demonstrate products "straight out of
                             the box". For example, ice cream melts under studio lights. However, any
                             artificial aids must not make products look better than they are in reality. In
                             this case, the ITC understood that it would not be possible to film an iMac's
                             screen directly (because of the need to avoid the reflection of studio lights etc)
                             and accepted that the use of a scan converter was a reasonable solution which
                             would not have removed any impairments in the iMac display signal that
                             would be present in real life.

                             The ITC did not, therefore, uphold this part of the complaint.

                  DECISION   Complaint upheld in part. The advertising ceased during the investigation.




                                                   1
      MISLEADING      COMET
                      Advertising agency: Saatchi & Saatchi Ltd

    COMPLAINT FROM    1 viewer

NATURE OF COMPLAINT   Advertising for Comet claimed that its prices were lower than certain named
                      competitors and that this was "backed by Comet price guarantee". The
                      complainant reported that he had found a lower price at Argos, one of the
                      competitors, but had been told by Comet staff that they would only give a
                      refund if the same item was in stock elsewhere on the same day and only if
                      they were able to phone Argos on the same day for confirmation. They
                      apparently could not and the complainant did not get his refund. He felt the
                      advertising had been misleading.

        ASSESSMENT    In the absence of any response from Comet to its enquiries, the ITC
                      suspended advertising making the claim. Comet later acknowledged that
                      certain conditions did apply to the price promise and the BACC accepted that
                      these should have been explained in the advertising.

           DECISION   Complaint upheld.




      MISLEADING      DAEWOO CARS
                      Advertising agency: Duckworth Finn

    COMPLAINT FROM    1 viewer

NATURE OF COMPLAINT   Advertising for Daewoo cars claimed "Every year, thousands of cars are taken
                      from their owners' homes and places of work...and replaced by virtually
                      identical ones with hardly anyone noticing." This referred to a scheme by
                      which Daewoo owners would be loaned replacement cars while their own
                      was being serviced.

                      The complainant owned a top-of the-range automatic Daewoo Leganza and
                      said that he had used this service "over half a dozen times" but had only once
                      been given a Leganza. On only about half of the occasions was he given an
                      automatic. He thought the advertising was therefore misleading.

        ASSESSMENT    Daewoo told the ITC that "wherever and whenever possible, we make every
                      effort to ensure that customers have access to an equivalent courtesy car".
                      They acknowledged, however, that the number of courtesy cars available, and
                      the spread of models, varied according to the size of the local service outlet.
                      (There were 128 across the UK.) Availability of particular models or
                      specifications could therefore vary. They said they were also dependent on
                      other customers returning cars at the expected times.

                      The ITC accepted Daewoo's argument that the claim was not absolute: it did
                      not state categorically that a virtually identical car would be supplied in 100%
                      of cases. Nor did it think that viewers generally would, for example, expect a
                      car of the same colour to be supplied. Nevertheless, it judged that viewers
                      were likely to interpret the claim as meaning that, in almost all cases, the
                      same model with the same general specification would be available.



                                            2
                      From the evidence, it did not seem that Daewoo could satisfy that expectation
                      in all but a minority of cases and the ITC concluded that the claim had been
                      made in misleadingly sweeping terms. The advertising was removed.

           DECISION   Complaint upheld.




      MISLEADING      NTL - PHONE & CABLE LINES
                      Advertising agency: J. Walter Thompson

   COMPLAINTS FROM    92 viewers

NATURE OF COMPLAINT   The complainants had responded to advertising for ntl World, a free internet
                      service, but had been told it was unavailable, apparently because of huge
                      demand. ntl warned them of considerable delays. They objected that it was
                      misleading to continue the advertising in those circumstances.

        ASSESSMENT    ntl acknowledged that they were having to ration access in order to cope with
                      demand and told the ITC that advertising for the free service had been
                      withdrawn on 26 May.

                      The first complaints, however, were received by the ITC in late April and it
                      concluded that the advertising had been misleading since that time.

           DECISION   Complaints upheld.



      MISLEADING      ONDIGITAL ONMAIL



   COMPLAINTS FROM    2 viewers

NATURE OF COMPLAINT   A promotion for an ONmail holiday competition shown on the ONdigital
                      service gave a contact telephone number and also included superimposed text
                      stating "Lines are open from 8am until midnight. Calls are charged at local
                      rates"

                      Two viewers complained that this was misleading because the telephone
                      number given was not local rate but a national rate number.

        ASSESSMENT    The ITC checked the advertising and found that the telephone number quoted
                      used the prefix 0870, which is a national rate number.

                      ONdigital explained that despite their procedure checks the error was not
                      noticed. They assured the ITC that all staff involved in the checking
                      procedure would be advised to check all such details in the future. ONdigital
                      apologised for the error and stated that they would reimburse the difference
                      between the two rates to customers who contacted them on the advertised
                      number.

                      The ITC judged that the advertising had been misleading. The promotion
                      ceased during the investigation.

           DECISION   Complaint upheld.
                                           3
      MISLEADING      SAINSBURYS ORGANICS
                      Advertising agency: M & C Saatchi

   COMPLAINTS FROM    5 viewers

NATURE OF COMPLAINT   Sainsburys' advertising showed, one after another, servings of three of their
                      organic foods, each accompanied by a price. For example, a scoop of ice
                      cream was added to a slice of cherry pie on a plate above superimposed text
                      which read "All organic - 83p". At one point, text also stated "Prices based
                      on quantity of food shown".

                      The complainants objected that they had not been able to find the Organic
                      Cherry Pie for 83p - it cost over £2 - and they thought the advertising was
                      misleading.

        ASSESSMENT    The ITC found that the prices shown referred to the cost of the particular
                      portion shown on screen, not to the price of the item in store. Sainsburys
                      argued that the statement "Prices based on quantity of food shown" was
                      ample demonstration that prices referred to portions not to pack prices. They
                      pointed out that it would have been misleading if they had accompanied the
                      pie and ice cream illustration with the figure of £5.08, the total pack price of
                      the two products.

                      The ITC has no objection to advertising showing the cost per serving so long
                      as the basis of pricing is made clear and unambiguous. (This form of pricing
                      is not widely used in TV advertising and so would not be what viewers would
                      expect.) But it concluded that the basis of pricing was not clear enough in the
                      Sainsburys advertising. The wording of the explanatory text was not
                      sufficiently simple and direct and its appearance only once had not been
                      enough to counter any misleading impressions.

           DECISION   Complaints upheld. The advertising was removed.




      MISLEADING      SCOOT
                      Advertising agency: BMP DDB Needham

    COMPLAINT FROM    1 viewer

NATURE OF COMPLAINT   An advertisement for Scoot illustrated the services available to a customer
                      moving house. The voiceover stated "Moving house. My people can give
                      you information on removal services, estate agents, decorators ... all in one
                      go".

                      The complainant found the advertisement misleading because, when a caller
                      contacted Scoot, he could only obtain one contact number per call. This
                      seemed to be contrary to the impression given in the advertisement.

        ASSESSMENT    The ITC agreed the advertisement was misleading.             Scoot pulled the
                      advertising during the course of the investigation.

           DECISION   Complaint upheld.


                                            4
      MISLEADING      TELEVISION X - THE FANTASY CHANNEL



   COMPLAINTS FROM    3 viewers
                      1 competitor

NATURE OF COMPLAINT   The Adult Channel asserted that a number of claims made during advertising
                      and promotional material on TVX The Fantasy Channel were untrue and
                      misleading. All the complaints relate to TVX's freeviews (the unencrypted
                      promotional material run before the main programming):

                      1.        TVX claimed "...we have more girls, more programmes, more
                      premieres, more variety, more hours, more viewers than any other (adult)
                      channel".

                      The Adult Channel believed that they had more premieres and more viewers
                      than TVX.

                      2.       TVX claimed "...we've got five times more subscribers than any of
                      our competitors because our programmes are five times harder".

                      The Adult Channel challenged the claims, believing they had more
                      subscribers than TVX.

                      3.       TVX claimed "...Don't take the one night soft option, get The
                      Fantasy Channel for only 26p a night...".

                      The Adult Channel believed this was misleading since:
                      - a "Starter Pack fee" of £12.00 was not mentioned
                      - the payments are not "26p a night" but £7.99 a month or £107.88 a year if
                      paid in advance
                      - there was no mention that the price applies to satellite customers only, and
                      some cable companies charge more than £7.99 a month

                      4.         TVX claimed "...Subscribe tonight and we'll give you £30 worth of
                      explicit adult magazines and video magazines absolutely free".

                      The Adult Channel believed this was misleading since:
                      - the offer did not apply to potential cable subscribers
                      - the magazines were not free as they formed part of the Starter Pack which
                      cost £12.00
                      - the subscriber did not receive the magazines but instead received a voucher
                      for use in newsagents

                      5.          TVX ran promotions specifically directed at cable subscribers
                      stating "...not only can we switch you on immediately but you can also claim
                      your choice of an explicit video magazine or red hot pack absolutely free...".

                      The Adult Channel stated that:
                      - none of the main cable operators were making this offer in full when
                      contacted
                      - some cable companies only offered instant switch-on in certain areas, and
                      others not at all

                      6.        TVX ran the following: "...are you fed up with repeats on other
                      channels - only The Fantasy Channel guarantees new programmes every
                      single night of the year".

                                           5
             The Adult Channel believed that:
             - TVX do not broadcast a new programme every night of the year
             - The Adult Channel too guarantees at least one new programme every night
             of the year

ASSESSMENT   Portland Enterprises, who own Television X - The Fantasy Channel,
             responded in detail to the Adult Channel's allegations forwarded to them by
             the ITC.

             1.        On the basis of data submitted in confidence to the ITC, it appeared
             that neither TVX nor the Adult Channel was justified in claiming to have
             more premieres or more UK viewers on a regular footing than the other.

             Premieres
             The information on premieres provided by the two channels showed that the
             numbers broadcast fluctuated from week to week. Averaged over a period of
             time, however, neither channel was clearly seen to have more premieres than
             the other, and the ITC did not believe that TVX's claim to have "more
             premieres" was justified by the evidence. It found the claim misleading.

             Viewers
             The figures submitted by the Adult Channel to support its claim to have more
             viewers than TVX included non-UK subscriptions. The ITC discounted these
             figures for the purposes of this investigation, since TVX is only marketed in
             the UK. To have used The Adult Channel's total subscriptions for comparison
             purposes would therefore not have been to comparing like with like. Both
             channels provided data on the number of pay-per-night viewers. Analysing
             the total viewership excluding non-UK subscribers resulted in a similar
             picture for both channels, and the ITC concluded that TVX's claim to have
             "more viewers" was unproven and potentially misleading. Complaint upheld.

             2.          Using the data referred to above, it was clear that TVX had more
             (UK) subscribers than The Adult Channel, as a significant portion of the
             latter's viewership was made up by pay-per-night viewers rather than regular
             subscribers. However, the ratio between the two channels was significantly
             less than 5 to 1, and the ITC concluded that the claim as made by TVX was
             misleading in its current form. Complaint upheld.

             3.         TVX explained that the £12.00 charge was only levied on new
             digital satellite customers, and felt that as such it did not form part of the
             subscription rate. The ITC disagreed, and considered that it should either have
             been mentioned separately as a condition, or rolled into the price calculation.
             It also considered that the term"...only 26p per night..." gave the impression
             that 26p was the nightly rate, regardless of the number of nights that the
             viewer signed up for. As the actual charge was £7.99 per month, the ITC
             considered that the advertising should have made this clear, or used a
             different form of wording such as "...equivalent to 26p per night...". Finally,
             the ITC agreed with the complainant that the fact that the £7.99 per month
             only applied to satellite customers should have been made clear, since some
             cable companies charged different rates. In summary, the ITC judged that
             TVX's pricing information had been presented in a misleading manner.
             Complaint upheld.

             4.         TVX acknowledged that cable companies would run their own
             special introductory offers, and said that space had been left in the freeviews
             for these to be inserted. However, they argued that the magazines were indeed
             free, as the introductory charge of £12.00 was a separate administrative item.
             Furthermore, contrary to The Adult Channel's assertion, the option to receive
             the magazines by post was available on request. The ITC agreed with The
             Adult Channel that the promotion should have made clear that the offer only
                                   6
                      applied to satellite subscribers, and upheld that element of the complaint. It
                      did however accept that the magazine pack offer was distinct from the
                      introductory charge, and that the pack could be posted to the subscriber as an
                      alternative to redeeming a voucher in a shop. Complaint upheld in part.

                      5.         TVX accepted that some cable companies did not actively
                      participate in the offer, but said that it would provide the pack directly to any
                      customers unable to obtain it through the cable company. It was however
                      unclear whether immediate switch-on was available in all cable areas. The
                      ITC considered that the limitations, both on the means of access to the free
                      magazine pack and on the availability of instant switch-on, should have been
                      made clear to viewers in the course of the promotion aimed at cable viewers.
                      Complaint upheld.

                      6.        The ITC received assurances from TVX that since the middle of
                      1999 it had been broadcasting at least one new programme every night. It was
                      however apparent to the ITC that The Adult Channel was also able to
                      demonstrate that it showed at least one new programme every night. The ITC
                      therefore judged that TVX's claim that "...only The Fantasy Channel
                      guarantees.. new programmes every night" was inaccurate and potentially
                      misleading. Complaint upheld.

                      In summary, the ITC judged that TVX's freeviews had been misleading in a
                      number of respects, and required that they should not be run again in their
                      current form. In future the broadcaster should ensure that evidence existed to
                      support any claims, and that offers were properly qualified with regard to any
                      significant conditions. The ITC noted that TVX, once aware of the complaint,
                      took immediate steps to amend or qualify most of the disputed claims, and
                      welcomed its prompt action.

           DECISION   Complaints upheld in part.




      MISLEADING      TRAVEL HOUSE – TELETEXT


    COMPLAINT FROM    1 viewer

NATURE OF COMPLAINT   Advertising offered a 14-night half-board holiday to Halkidiki for £249. A
                      viewer who called to book the holiday was advised that the price had gone up
                      to £299. He called the ITC when he saw that the advertising was still on air
                      the following day, when he called again and was this time told that the price
                      had increased to £329. The advertising was eventually amended the
                      following day.

                      The viewer complained that the advertising was misleading.

        ASSESSMENT    The advertiser stated that they were able to provide details of a number of
                      people who had booked the advertised holiday at the price shown of £249.
                      The example submitted in support of this contention related to a booking
                      made on the first day that the advertising had appeared, but appeared not to
                      relate to the advertised holiday as the price charged was higher.




                                            7
                      In the absence of comprehensive evidence demonstrating that the holiday was
                      available at the price shown throughout the period that the advertising
                      remained on air, the ITC considered that the advertising had been misleading.

           DECISION   Complaint upheld.


       OFFENSIVE      BATCHELORS CUP A SOUP
                      Advertising agency: Ammirati Puris Lintas

    COMPLAINT FROM    1 viewer

NATURE OF COMPLAINT   The complainant objected to the inclusion of this advertisement on 18 March
                      during children's programmes on GMTV.

        ASSESSMENT    The advertisement contained a brief humorous episode where one male
                      character touches another. The BACC recognised that some viewers might
                      see this as inappropriate for transmission in and around children's
                      programmes and applied the appropriate timing restriction. GMTV explained
                      that human error by one of their trainee staff had resulted in this restriction
                      not being picked up and applied. They apologised for the error.

           DECISION   Compliant upheld. No regulatory intervention was indicated.


       OFFENSIVE      MILLER PILSNER
                      Advertising agency: Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe

   COMPLAINTS FROM    4 viewers

NATURE OF COMPLAINT   An American comedian stated that, friends at home had said "wear the fox
                      hat" when he told them he was going to Auchtermuchty. The complainants,
                      as presumably intended, heard the line as "where the fuck's that?". They
                      objected to the use of such a strong swear-word, finding it offensive, shocking
                      and in poor taste.

        ASSESSMENT    The complaints received by the ITC related to transmissions on Channels 4
                      and 5, but the ITC was aware that the advertising had also been shown at an
                      earlier date on both Scottish and Grampian Television.

                      Investigations revealed that the commercial had been refused clearance by the
                      BACC. The decision to transmit the advertisement had therefore been taken
                      by individual licensees. Both Channels 4 and 5 stated that they were aware
                      that the commercial had been refused clearance by the BACC but, after noting
                      that neither Scottish nor Grampian Television had received complaints from
                      viewers, had decided to transmit it after 23:00 in suitable programming.

                      The ITC judged that the BACC had been correct in refusing to clear the
                      commercial. Whilst the joke in the advertising was an old one, the play on
                      words did result in viewers hearing the word 'fuck'. Even when bearing in
                      mind the scheduling restrictions placed on the advertising by the broadcasters
                      the ITC judged this to be an inappropriate word for use in advertising.

                      It instructed licensees to make the commercial unacceptable for broadcast
                      with immediate effect.

           DECISION   Complaints upheld.

                                            8
       OFFENSIVE      SURE FOR MEN - THE FACTORY
                      Advertising agency: HHCL & Partners

   COMPLAINTS FROM    36 viewers

NATURE OF COMPLAINT   Two men were shown going for an interview at an industrial factory staffed
                      by scantily clad women. Viewers alleged that the commercial contained
                      images representative of male and female genitalia including a "giant erect
                      penis" and a "vagina-like door". The majority of complainants objected that
                      such imagery was shocking and/or too sexually explicit. Some viewers felt it
                      was inappropriate for scheduling before the 9.00pm watershed.

        ASSESSMENT    The commercial had been cleared by the BACC with the proviso that it
                      should not be shown in or around programmes made specifically for children.
                      Whilst the ITC agreed that there was a certain level of innuendo in the
                      commercial, there was no sexual explicitness and the ITC did not judge that
                      the content warranted a more stringent timing restriction.

           DECISION   Complaints not upheld.



         HARMFUL      HANDBAG.COM – BREAKDOWN
                      Advertising agency: J. Walter Thompson

   COMPLAINTS FROM    37 viewers

NATURE OF COMPLAINT   Advertising for this internet site showed a woman take a gun from her
                      handbag and fire at her broken-down car. As it exploded in flames, she gave
                      a smile of satisfaction.

                      The complainants' objections included that the advertising could encourage
                      the use of guns, that it was irresponsible to show the advertising when
                      children might see it and that it was offensive and insensitive to show
                      advertising like this when there has been so much tragedy and controversy
                      involving guns, especially in the US.

        ASSESSMENT    The ITC found that the BACC had restricted the advertising to after 7.30pm.

                      The ITC judged that the advertising was similar in style to that often featured
                      in action adventure movies and James Bond films. It did not think that the
                      campaign was likely to have a particular influence on children and agreed
                      with BACC that the timing restriction they had imposed was sufficient.

           DECISION   Complaints not upheld.




                                            9
         HARMFUL      SEGA DREAMCAST – GERMAN
                      Advertising agency: WCRS

   COMPLAINTS FROM    18 viewers

NATURE OF COMPLAINT   The commercial was part of a series announcing the availability of on-line
                      gaming, using the Sega Dreamcast console, between players in the UK and
                      specific European countries (including Germany). It purported to set out
                      'facts' about Germans. Clips were shown of Germans e.g. eating sausages,
                      drinking large quantities of lager and marking their poolside territory with
                      towels. The voice over concluded by stating: "FACT! Germany always wins.
                      You will play me head to head on-line through your Dreamcast. As you say,
                      come and have a go if you think you're hard enough".

                      The majority of complainants felt that the stereotypical portrayal of Germans
                      in the advertisement was offensive and racist. Five of the complainants also
                      suggested that the commercial was likely to encourage football violence,
                      particularly in the run up to the Euro 2000 match between England and
                      Germany.

        ASSESSMENT    The advertiser stated that the advertisement was intended to represent the
                      Germans in a light-hearted, fun, way. It explained that, as with the other
                      commercials in the same series (there were two other treatments, dealing with
                      the English and the French) the commercial was intended to take a humorous
                      look at certain perceived national stereotypes. The light-hearted approach
                      taken was in fact aimed at asking viewers not to take rivalry too seriously,
                      with the invitation to act out the national character "through your Dreamcast"
                      being part of the fun. They believed that, if anything, the humorous approach
                      taken was an attempt to reduce violent tensions.

                      The BACC explained that they believed that the two other versions in the
                      campaign helped in balancing the picture for viewers and giving a humorous,
                      tongue in cheek portrayal of the nationalities that could play a game on-line
                      using their Sega Dreamcast consoles. The line "Come and have a go if you
                      think you're hard enough" had been seen as a teasing, competitive injunction
                      to play the game on-line.

                      The ITC noted that the campaign had clearly been designed to tap into
                      nationalistic fervour surrounding the Euro 2000 championship. There had
                      understandably been considerable public concern about the possibility of
                      violence breaking out during the championship. In this climate, it considered
                      that the provocation implied in the commercial to: "Come and have a go if
                      you think you're hard enough" (a common football chant) had been ill judged
                      and irresponsible.

                      As a result of its concerns regarding condonement and possible
                      encouragement of violence, the ITC required the advertisement to be
                      suspended and instructed that it should not be shown again in its present form.

                      The ITC noted the concerns raised by the other complainants regarding
                      national stereotyping. It judged, however, that although the stereotyping used
                      would be likely to be found unacceptable by some viewers it did not believe
                      that it was likely to lead to harmful social effects.

           DECISION   Complaints concerning potential provocation of violence upheld. Other
                      complaints not upheld.



                                           10
 MISCELLANEOUS        FANTASTIC FORECASTS – TELETEXT


    COMPLAINT FROM    1 competitor

NATURE OF COMPLAINT   Advertising for this betting tipster, operating on a premium rate line, referred
                      to a PO Box number in address details for the service provider. The
                      complainant, a competitor to the advertiser, objected that this contravened the
                      ITC's Guidance Note on Betting Tipster Advertising.

        ASSESSMENT    ITC Guidance Note 5 on Betting Tipster Advertising reminds licensees at
                      point 5 that tipster advertising must carry the usual trading name and business
                      address of the service provider of the premium rate phone line, and that PO
                      Box addresses are not acceptable.

                      The ITC agreed that the advertising was in contravention of the Guidance
                      Note.

           DECISION   Complaint upheld.



 MISCELLANEOUS        SCHEDULING OF ADVERTISEMENTS



    COMPLAINT FROM    1 viewer

NATURE OF COMPLAINT   A member of the public objected to the inclusion on Nickelodeon, a children's
                      channel, of a trailer for the 15 rated film Psycho on 31 January.

        ASSESSMENT    The advertisement had been inserted locally by ntl: on their Glasgow cable
                      licence franchise.

                      The ITC does not permit promotions or advertisements for 15 rated films to
                      be scheduled in or around children's programmes, or on children's channels.

                      ntl explained that there had been operating difficulties with a recently
                      installed piece of scheduling software. The problem had been identified and
                      action taken to prevent any recurrence. They apologised for any distress
                      caused.

           DECISION   Complaint upheld. The ITC noted that immediate steps had been taken to
                      rectify the cause of the error and on that basis considered no further
                      regulatory action was required on this occasion.




                                           11
 MISCELLANEOUS        SCHEDULING - ACTOR SEPARATION



    COMPLAINT FROM    1 viewer

NATURE OF COMPLAINT   On Sky Sports 1 on 14 April an advertisement for Mizuno golf clubs, which
                      featured Seve Ballesteros, was shown during a live golf tournament adjacent
                      to an interview with him. The complainant questioned whether this was
                      allowed under ITC rules.

        ASSESSMENT    Sky Sports 1 explained that they had gone to some lengths to ensure that such
                      a juxtaposition would not occur. On this occasion the unpredictable nature of
                      this live sporting event presented the producers with an unscheduled and
                      unexpected interview with Seve Ballesteros, which left them with insufficient
                      time to remove the advert. Sky Sports apologised for the error.

           DECISION   Complaint upheld. The ITC accepted that this was an isolated case involving
                      an element of force majuere, and concluded that no regulatory action was
                      indicated.



 MISCELLANEOUS        SCHEDULING - ACTOR SEPARATION



    COMPLAINT FROM    1 viewer

NATURE OF COMPLAINT   On Central Television on the 1 May an advertisement for Benecol featuring
                      Carol Vorderman was transmitted shortly before a promotion for A Year of
                      Promise which, also featured Ms Vorderman. The complainant questioned
                      whether this was in conflict with ITC rules.

        ASSESSMENT    The ITC Code of Advertising Standards and Practice states that, with limited
                      exceptions, advertisements which include a person who also appears in a
                      programme, other than in a minor or incidental capacity, may not be
                      scheduled in breaks in or adjacent to that programme. For the avoidance of
                      doubt, a programme promotion is deemed to be a programme for the purposes
                      for this part of the rule.

                       Carlton Television, who sell airtime for Central, explained that prior to
                      transmission they had been informed that the break did not contain any
                      promotional material featuring Ms Vorderman. However, sometime after this,
                      Central inserted the promotion and omitted to inform Carlton of the change.
                      The ITC noted that the failure of communication between Central's
                      presentation staff and Carlton sales was regrettable. Carlton apologised on
                      behalf of itself and Central.

           DECISION   Complaint upheld. There was no evidence that this was other than an isolated
                      incident so no regulatory action was indicated on this occasion.




                                          12
 MISCELLANEOUS        SCHEDULING - ACTOR SEPARATION



   COMPLAINTS FROM    7 viewers

NATURE OF COMPLAINT   On Channel 4 on 2 May an advertisement for Benecol featuring Carol
                      Vorderman was shown during the programme Countdown which also
                      featured Ms Vorderman.

        ASSESSMENT    The ITC Code of Advertising Standards and Practice states that, with limited
                      exceptions, advertisements which include a person who also appears in a
                      programme, other than in a minor or incidental capacity, may not be
                      scheduled in breaks in or adjacent to that programme.

                      Channel 4 informed the ITC on the 3 May that they had erroneously
                      transmitted the Benecol advert during the programme Countdown. They later
                      went on to explain that they had been aware of the restrictions placed on the
                      advertisement, but that due to human error the restriction was not applied.
                      Channel 4 apologised for the error.

           DECISION   Complaints upheld. There being no evidence that this was anything other than
                      an isolated incident, no further regulatory action was considered necessary.




 MISCELLANEOUS        VH1 - CLASSIC



    COMPLAINT FROM    1 viewer

NATURE OF COMPLAINT   A viewer complained that on the 15 April at approximately 14:10 the VH-1
                      Classic logo obscured part of the text on a Direct Loans advertisement.

        ASSESSMENT    The ITC requires that all text in an advertisement must be clearly legible so
                      that there is no possibility of viewers being mislead about the nature of the
                      offer. Anything that might obscure such text, in whole or in part, should be
                      moved.

                      VH-1 Classic said that this only occurred in a few instances, and that the
                      majority of advertisements were unaffected. However, they acknowledged
                      that this was not a satisfactory situation and assured the ITC that they would
                      design and implement a new VH-1 Classic logo for transmission during
                      breaks, aimed at resolving this problem.

           DECISION   Complaint upheld. The ITC noted that this was the first time this issue had
                      arisen and that no specific guidance was therefore available to licensees. The
                      broadcaster was also taking immediate steps to rectify this situation. On that
                      basis no further regulatory action was indicated.




                                           13
                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                                   Number of
                                                                        Complaints
MISLEADING   AA Membership                                                       2
             AA Motor Insurance                                                   1
             Alpha Telecom                                                        1
             Amoy Noodles                                                         1
             Asda                                                                 1
             Asianet                                                              1
             B&Q Superstore                                                       1
             Baines & Ernst                                                       4
             Barclaycard                                                          2
             Bazuka                                                               1
             Boots                                                                1
             Boots Opticians                                                      3
             Bosch                                                                1
             breathe.com                                                          1
             British Telecom - Internet                                           5
             British Telecom - Together                                           1
             BT Cellnet                                                           3
             Budget Insurance                                                     1
             Cable & Wireless                                                     7
             Cash Converters                                                      1
             Cereal Partners                                                      1
             Chatline - Singles Bar                                               1
                                          14
Cheltenham & Gloucester            1
Churchill Insurance                1
Churchills Stairlifts              1
Claims Direct                      8
Club Oz - Text                     1
COI - DEE Computer Training        4
COI - WFTC                         1
Colgate Toothpaste                 1
Comet - Liberty Surf               9
DFS                                1
Digital Cellphones                 3
Direct Line Motor Insurance        2
Dixon Motors                       1
Ericsson T10 Mobile Phone          1
Farmfoods Frozen Foods             1
Fly Elite - Text                   1
Ford Focus                         1
Ford KA                            1
Freeserve                          1
Garden Claw                        2
Gardening Which? Magazine          2
GE Life                            2
Global Holiday Direct - Text       1
Global Video                       1
Hammerite                          1
Hilton Hotels - Text               1
Holiday Index - Text               1
Homebase                           2
Iceland                            1
Impulse                            1
Insider Information - Text         1
Intel Web Outfitter Service        1
ITV2 Promotions                    2
JML Direct Ironing Board Cover     8
JML Direct Kitchen Knives          1
Kelloggs Cornflakes                1
Kitchens Direct                    2
Leech Homes                        1
Line One Internet                  1
Lycos                              2
                              15
McDonalds - Happy Meal             2
McDonalds - McFlurry               2
Mercron Credit Services            2
Mormon Church                      1
Nescafe Black Gold                 1
News of the World                  1
Northern Electric                  1
NTL - Phone & Cable Lines          3
One 2 One                          1
Organics                           1
P & O Stena Line                   1
Panadol                            1
Pedigree Principal                 1
Pet Plan Insurance                 1
PG Tips                            1
Pin 24 product                     1
QVC Product                        4
Sainsbury                          1
Sainsburys organics                1
Screenshop Slim Gym                1
Shell                              1
Shop Product                       2
Shredded Wheat                     1
Sightsavers International          1
Simply Be                          1
Sindy & Patti Dolls                1
Sky Digital                        6
Specsavers Easyvision              1
St Ivel Golden Churn               1
Standard Life Bank                 1
Teacher Training                   3
The Free Internet                  1
The Guardian                       1
The Sofa Company                   1
Thomas Cook Flight Direct - Text   1
Town & Country Driveways           1
Travel City - Text                 1
Travel House - Text                2
Trium Mobile Phones                1
TV Licensing                       2
                            16
            TV Shop                                        1
            TV Travel Shop                                 4
            Upton Travel - Text                            1
            Vauxhall Zafira                                1
            Virgin Trains                                  1
            Vision Express                                 2
            Warburtons Bread                               1
            Werthers Original                              1
            World Wide Journeys - Text                     1
            Worldwide Travel of East Anglia Text           2
            X-Fat                                          1
            Yes Express Car Credit                         1
            Zantac 75                                      2




            Product or Advertisement               Number of
                                                   Complaints
OFFENSIVE   AA Membership                                   1
            Abbey National                                 1
            Anti Drugs                                     1
            Assertahomes.com                               1
            Atlantic Telecom                               2
            Auto Trader                                    1
            Bacardi Breezer                                1
            Batchelors Super Noodles                      19
            Boddingtons                                    2
            Boots                                          1
            British Telecom - Internet                     1
            BT Cellnet                                     1
            Cahoot.com - Sugar Daddy                       1
            Calpol                                         1
            Carling Black Label                            1
            Cheekymonkey.com                               2
            Coca Cola - Euro 2000                         21
            Daily mail                                     1
            Dairylea                                       2
            Dettol Liquid Wash                             1
            DFS                                            1
            Diet Coke                                      5
            Doritos Dippas                                 1
                                         17
Dr Pepper                         1
Easier.co.uk                      2
Excite.com                        3
Fiat Punto                        3
Freeserve                         4
Goldfish Credit Card              1
Guinness Draught                  1
Haagen Dazs                       1
Harvester Restaurants             2
Heinz Salad Cream                 1
HFC Bank                          1
IBM                               1
Ikea - Tattoo                     1
Imperial Cancer Research          1
Irn Bru                           1
John Smiths Bitter                1
Kelkoo.com                        1
Kelloggs Cornflakes               1
Krisprolls                        1
Line One Internet                 1
Lion Bar                          1
LOreal Excellence                 1
Lycos - Football                  1
Lynx - Ideal Woman                5
Magnum Double                     1
Mars Snickers - Sports Fan        2
McDonalds - Euro 2000             2
Meadowhall Shopping Centre        1
Moonfruit.com                     1
Muller Lite                       3
National Lottery                  1
Nintendo - Perfect Dark           1
Nova Magazine                     6
NPower                            1
Olivio                            2
Peugeot 406                       1
PG Tips                           1
Philadelphia Light Cheese         1
Pot Noodles                       1
Seven Up                          3
                             18
          Shreddies                                           1
          Siemens Mobile Phone                                2
          Sportal.co.uk                                       1
          Stepwise Nail Product                               4
          Strongbow Cider                                     7
          Sunday People                                       1
          T & T Beverages                                     1
          Telelines - Gay GB                                  1
          Toyota                                              1
          UK Living                                           3
          Video Release - Deep Blue Sea                       1
          Virgin Trains                                       1
          Vitaminic.co.uk                                     1
          Walkers Max Crisps - Hell                           2
          Weetabix                                            1
          Yellow Pages                                        1




          Product or Advertisement                    Number of
                                                      Complaints
HARMFUL   AA Membership                                        1
          Adidas                                              1
          America On Line                                     1
          Asda - Cones                                        1
          ATS Euromaster                                      1
          Bacardi Breezer                                     2
          Batchelors Super Noodles                            1
          Blockbuster Video                                   1
          Boddingtons                                         2
          British Eggs                                        1
          British Telecom - Second Line                       1
          Cahoot.com - Sugar Daddy                            1
          Carlsberg                                           1
          Chatline                                            1
          Cheltenham & Gloucester                             5
          Chicken Tonight                                     2
          Cuprinol Ltd                                        1
          Dairylea                                            1
          Department of Environment - Anti speeding           1
          DFS                                                 1
                                      19
Diet Coke                          1
DSS Benefit Fraud                  1
Freeserve                          1
Gaviscon Heartburn Remedy          1
Guinness Draught                   2
Impulse                            1
Lycos - Football                   2
Mars Snickers - Sports Fan         2
Mastercard                         1
McCain Oven Chips                  1
McDonalds - corporate              4
McDonalds - Euro 2000              1
Meadowhall Shopping Centre         1
MSN - Worm                         1
Muller Yogz                        2
Nestle Maxibon                     2
NSPCC                              9
Pampers                            2
Penalli Pens                       1
Pepsi Regular - screenplay         2
Peugeot 406                        1
Philishave                         1
QXL.com                            1
RAC/BSM                            3
Rowntrees Fruit Pastilles          6
Senokot                            1
Shreddies                          2
Smirnoff Vodka                     1
Sunny Delight                      1
Sure Oxygen                        1
Talking Pages                      1
Tango Orange - Megaphone           1
Tic Tac                            1
Video Release - Deep Blue Sea      1
Virgin Trains                      1
Walkers Max Crisps - Hell         12
Yes Express Car Credit             1




                             20
                Product or Advertisement          Number of
                                                  Complaints
MISCELLANEOUS   Axa Sunlife Direct                         1
                Baines & Ernst                            4
                Benecol                                   1
                British Gas                               1
                British Telecom - Internet                1
                Cable & Wireless                          1
                CGU Direct Motor Insurance                1
                Chicken Tonight                           1
                City Vacations - Text                     1
                Claims Direct                             2
                COI - Minimum Income Guarantee            1
                Diamond Car Insurance                     4
                Elvive Nutrivitamins                      2
                Fiat Punto                                1
                Jamba.co.uk                               1
                Kelloggs Corporate                        1
                National Accident Helpline                1
                QVC Product                               1
                Siemens Mobile Phone                      1
                Sky Digital                               1
                Supasplat Paint Gun                       1
                Tetley Bitter                             1
                TV Shop                                   1




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


                Product or Advertisement                                         Number of
                                                                                 Complaints
   MISLEADING   Home Shopping                                                             1
                Miscellaneous comments                                                      2




                Product or Advertisement                                         Number of
                                                                                 Complaints
    OFFENSIVE   Sanitary Protection Products                                              2
                Sexism - Men                                                                1




                Product or Advertisement                                         Number of
                                                                                 Complaints
     HARMFUL    General                                                                   1
                Inappropriate Breaks                                                        1




                Product or Advertisement                                         Number of
                                                                                 Complaints
MISCELLANEOUS   Amount of Advertising                                                     5
                Flashing images                                                             1
                Formula One                                                                 4
                General                                                                     5
                Inappropriate Breaks                                                        2
                Miscellaneous comments                                                      7
                Noise                                                                       7
                Toy Advertising                                                             1




                                           22
                   Analysis

                                                  COMPLAINTS DETERMINED IN JUNE 2000

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

   MISLEADING                  304    (15)                  75    (12)                   9      (1)

    OFFENSIVE                  207     (0)                  45     (0)                   2      (0)

     HARMFUL                   158     (0)                  34     (0)                   1      (0)

MISCELLANEOUS                   76     (2)                  15     (2)                   6      (1)

                               745    (17)                 169    (14)                  18      (2)




                                                                          YEAR TO DATE 2000

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

   MISLEADING                 1212    (57)                 377    (59)                  45    (11)

    OFFENSIVE                  955     (0)                 224     (0)                   5      (0)

     HARMFUL                   856     (0)                 172     (0)                   4      (0)

MISCELLANEOUS                  227    (10)                  66    (10)                  19      (2)

                              3250    (67)                 839    (69)                  73    (13)




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




                                             23

				
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