Daily Mail rapped over misleading Jubilee promotion

Daily Mail publisher Associated Newspapers has been censured by the advertising watchdog over a ‘misleading’advert promoting a commemorative Jubilee DVD.

The Advertising Standards Authority upheld two complaints over a TV advert and one in print for the Jubilee promotion and banned the publisher from running them again in their current form.

The TV ad featured a voice-over saying: ‘Free with Saturday’s Daily Mail, the very best of the Jubilee on one spectacular DVD. Relive the magic of four historic days, captured on film with the majesty they deserve. Together with a glorious souvenir booklet for you to treasure. Free Jubilee DVD offered only with Saturday’s Mail.”

But the on-screen text stated readers could ‘collect tokens from Mail and Mail on Sunday“.

The ASA received 44 complainants claiming the TV ad was misleading because they thought the footnote contradicted the voice-over claiming the DVD was free with Saturday’s, and did not make clear the promotion related to a token collect offer starting in Saturday’s Daily Mail.

In its defence, Associated Newspapers said it had followed a ‘long-established script formula specific to token collect offers”.

It argued that the use of the wording “free with” rather than “free in” – along with the inclusion of the word “offered” – made it clear the DVD was not contained within the newspaper.

According to the ASA: ‘They [the Daily Mail] believed that because the on-screen text provided additional information about where to collect the tokens and postage details it added clarity to, rather than contradicting, the voice-over.”

‘Associated also accepted one of their press ads had not stated that the offer required consumers to collect tokens, but they did not feel that alone was sufficient to mislead consumers, given the other ads which had subsequently appeared, all of which had stated the relevant condition.

‘In particular, they pointed out that the front page of Saturday’s edition of the Mail stated the condition.”

In its adjudication, the ASA said: ‘The ASA noted the voice-over referred to the DVD being offered ‘with’ the relevant edition of the Daily Mail, rather than ‘in’ the Daily Mail. However, we considered that that was not a sufficiently clear distinction, particularly when the Saturday edition of the newspaper was referred to in isolation.

‘We acknowledged the on-screen text provided further details of how the offer worked, but we considered that the qualifying text contradicted the claims in the voice-over and we concluded that the ad was misleading.”

It added: ‘We considered consumers could have seen the relevant press ad in isolation and decided to purchase Saturday’s Daily Mail as a result, without being aware that they would be required to collect tokens in order to obtain the DVD. We therefore concluded the ad was misleading.”

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