A company ran a competition asking people to come up with “far-fetched” ideas for prizes they would like to win — but was then found to have breached advertising codes after it failed to deliver one winner with his Doctor Who-style Tardis.

The company in question, iD Mobile, tweeted out its competition offer: “What’s the most far-fetched thing you want? Go on, we love a challenge. #IWANTID”.

The blurb also asked: “Have you always wanted to go on a round the world Trip? Or perhaps you always wanted to own a pink unicorn?. Well, this is your chance to make it happen!”

The person behind the winning entry asked for a Tardis, the fictional time machine used by Doctor Who, and received notification in late October that he had won.

But he ended up with a bird feeder.

According to the Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland (ASAI): “He noted a video of several winners, including himself, had been uploaded to the iD Mobile Facebook page which listed his name, county, and a picture of a Tardis.

“When the complainant received his prize he noted that the Tardis he received was a bird feeder.

“He made contact with the advertiser and was advised that they had priced a Tardis but it was too expensive.”

In its response, iD Mobile said that in good faith and in the spirit of the competition, it had taken on the challenge and located a bird feeder for the garden and an additional two-thirds lifesize cutout for indoor use, while also noting that the terms and conditions outlined how the prize value was set at a maximum level of €1,000.

The ASAI upheld the complaint, stating: “The advertisement had given entrants the impression that their ‘wish’ would be granted”.

Among other complaints upheld by ASAI, three involved ads based around alcohol consumption.


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