Lidl, Meteor, Irish Cancer Society found in breach of advertising code

The Advertising Standards Authority of Ireland found sixteen cases to be in breach of the ASAI advertising code during its latest review.

Lidl, Meteor, Irish Cancer Society, eir and Phone Watch were among the companies found in breach of the ASAI Code.

Seventeen cases were investigated and 16 were found to be in breach of the ASAI Code.

Lidl, eir, Phone Watch and Meteor were found to be using misleading advertisements while the Irish Cancer Society was found to be instilling fear and distress.

The Irish Cancer Society advertising campaign featured a series of ads with the wording 'I want to get cancer.'

92 complaints were received about the advertisement, many saying the wording used in the advertisement was offensive, insensitive, disrespectful and upsetting to cancer survivors.

The advertisers said their campaign had been created as a public awareness campaign, designed to save lives.

The Committee noted the level of complaint in this case and the distress that had been caused to complainants.

They considered that the ‘Teaser’ element of the campaign was in breach of Sections 3.3, 3.20 and 3.23 of the Code.

A Lidl advertisement was also found to be misleading.

The ad, refering to a selection of frozen fish stated: 'Same Great Taste, Same Great Value… Fresh New look!'

The complaint said the leaflet advertised the fish to be "fresh" while the products had been frozen and defrosted.

The advertisers said that while the labelling attached to the products had indicated that they were defrosted, they had included the word "fresh" in their advertising as it was their understanding that it was permissible to do so.

When it was brought to their attention that their fish products should not be advertised as "fresh" if they had been defrosted they had taken the necessary steps to remove the word ‘fresh’ from their defrosted fish products.

The Committee noted that the advertising had been amended to remove the description "fresh".

They considered, however, that as the products had been frozen and defrosted the description "fresh" was likely to mislead and to be in breach of Sections 4.1 and 4.4 of the Code.

Commenting on the latest ASAI rulings, Orla Twomey, Chief Executive of the ASAI, stated:

“The first ASAI complaints bulletin for 2017 highlights the ASAI’s broad remit in relation to the number of advertising platforms covered. Social Media, Print, SMS, Online and more, all featured advertisements which have been found in breach of the ASAI Code.

Given the rise in the number of complaints within some sectors, the ASAI has also begun actively engaging with advertisers to promote improved engagement and compliance with the ASAI Code. The ASAI have done this in the past to address emerging trends across various sectors.

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