ASA rules against fifth Express ad in two months

Richard Desmond’s Express Newspapers has fallen foul of the advertising watchdog for the fifth time in little over two months after running a misleading reader offer.

The Advertising Standards Authority has banned an ad featured in the Daily Express after ruling its suggestion that the solar powered watch on offer contained “no batteries” was misleading.

This latest sanction comes after the advertising watchdog upheld four separate complaints in August about the Daily Express running advertorials as editorial features.

The offer stated: “Radio-controlled accuracy with this Solar Powered Watch”. The ad also featured a picture of the watch and text under it read “No batteries, no winding”.

The ads watchdog concluded the “No batteries” claim was likely to mislead as the watch did contain a lithium battery to store solar energy.

Express Newspapers told the ASA the ad was trying to express that the watch would never require the pre-powered batteries usually inserted at a repair shop and it would be happy to state that on all future offers.

The ASA also found the reader offer exaggerating claims about the accuracy of the watch by claiming: “The watch features amazing accuracy, literally to a second in sixty million years which is achieved by picking up a constant signal from the atomic clock in Cumbria”.

The watchdog ruled that while the National Physical Laboratory’s clock was considered accurate to plus or minus one second in sixty million years radio controlled watches, which synchronised with the radio signal from the atomic clock once a day, were likely to be accurate to plus or minus one second per day.

The ASA said the ad must not appear again in its current form.

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