Car manufacturer Suzuki, fake tan company Cocoa Brown, and laser eye clinic Optilase have all been rapped by the advertising watchdog for breaching advertising standards.
In its latest complaints bulletin, the Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland (ASAI) upheld 12 complaints which were in breach of the ASAI Code on grounds related to misleading advertising, responsibility, safety, and promotions/alcohol. A further two complaints were dismissed by the ASAI.
Suzuki found itself on the receiving end of two complaints about its ad which showed a man driving at high speed, with the tag line 'time to play'.
The ad had a child-like voice-over, which included the line: "In two hours, I have the most important meeting of my life. But first, it’s time to play."
While Suzuki had not intended to condone dangerous driving, ASAI said the ad was "inappropriate and condoned unsafe practices". It said the use of 'play' in the tag was "irresponsible" and told Suzuki "the advertising should not be used in the same format again".
Laser eye clinic Optilase failed to respond when contacted by ASAI regarding a complaint about an ad which promised €500 off laser eye surgery. To get this offer, customers had to waive a lifetime guarantee which, the complainant said, was not made clear. The complaint was upheld.
Two complaints against Therapie Clinic were also upheld. The first related to pricing during a sale, while a second complaint said ads offered "complete hair removal" and "guaranteed successful results". She failed to see such results after six weeks of treatment as her hair was "light in colour". She was told she needed more sessions.
Therapie Clinic did not respond when contacted by ASAI, which determined both adverts breached the code.
Betting company Bet Index Ltd (Football Index) were told they must include a message to encourage responsible gambling in all future ads having failed to do so in a radio advert, while tanning brand Cocoa Brown was criticised for social media posts which implied that people had used the brand.
However, one of the individuals pictured had stated she had used a different tanning product in another social media post. The posts in question were removed from Cocoa Brown's Instagram page and they were told to ensure they didn't reappear in the same form.
A complaint about Hidden Hearing ad offering free earwax removal in several locations was upheld as it was only available in one clinic in Cork city and, thus, was determined to be misleading.