The Daily Mail has been censured by the Advertising Standards Authority for a misleading ad suggesting readers would be given a free DVD with the next day’s paper.
The advertising watchdog banned publisher Associated Newspapers from running the ad in its current form after upholding a complaint from two readers.
The front-page flash ad stated “free with tomorrow’s mail Poirot free DVD”.
The readers told the ASA they believed the ad was misleading as it did not make clear the DVD had to be collected from Tesco or WH Smith rather than being included with the newspaper.
“The front-page flash on the promotional issue of the newspaper stated that the DVD had to be collected from Tesco or WHSmith,” the ASA ruling concluded.
“However, we considered that the front-page flash claim on the previous day’s newspaperâ€¦had implied that the DVD would be included with the following day’s newspaperâ€¦
“Because the DVD was not available with the following day’s newspaper, as implied by the front-page flash, we concluded that it was misleading.”
Associated Newspapers told the ASA that the claim “free with” was justifiable for a front-page flash that appeared the day before a promotional issue of the paper.
The publisher said it believed that the use of the word “with”, as opposed to “inside”, was fair in the circumstances.
The ASA warned the Daily Mail that it needed to ensure future pre-promotional front-page flashes used wording that clearly explained the nature of the offer.