ASA bans ads from TalkTalk, Mothercare and Centre Parcs following complaints

By Gillian West | Social media manager

April 23, 2014 | 3 min read

The Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) has taken action against ads from TalkTalk, Mothercare and Centre Parcs following challenges from members of the public.

TalkTalk was told its ad for ‘Catch-Up TV on your TV’ could be viewed as misleading despite making it sufficiently clear in the ad that its catch up service was only available for certain channels.

The ruling, which says the ad must not appear again in its current form, explained that the voice over combined with the logos of BBC iPlayer, ITV Player, 4oD and Demand 5 along with a list of channels “suggested that the advertised service would include all of the catch up content of the on-demand services referred to” which was not the case.

Mothercare’s ad promoting a sale item on was also banned after a complaint regarding the accompanying text reading ‘RRP £49.99. Price £24.99. You save £25.00’ as the complainant challenged that the item had ever been sold at the RRP resulting in such a saving.

Despite the ASA acknowledging the manufacturer’s suggested retail price to Mothercare was £49.99 the RRP was likely was likely to mislead as it significantly differed from the price the product is generally sold at. The ASA noted that Mothercare did not demonstrate that the product had been recently sold at the RRP price and with the exception of four weeks over a year the product had been sold closer to £25.

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In addition to banning the ad Mothercare has been warned that it must make sure all advertised savings claims are accurate and mentions of RRPs reflect the price that the product is generally sold for.

Centre Parcs’ TV ad for its family resorts which showed school children taking part in various activities along with on-screen text stating ‘Selected four night midweek breaks from £279 for four people’ was banned for small print which read ‘excludes school holidays’ as complainants suggested it encouraged parents to take their children out of school at term-time.

The ASA ruling picked up that the large on screen text with the price was disproportionate to the smaller text advising the offer did not apply during school holidays. Though it said that the wording ‘4 people’ may not necessarily allude to families the scenes used all featured families with school aged children.

The final on-screen sign off ‘Your family. Your Time’ was also viewed as an encouragement to parents to take up the offer. As the deal was only available during term-time the ASA concluded that it irresponsibly encouraged parents to take term time breaks. Centre Parcs has been advised to avoid promoting family breaks which were only available during term-time in the future.

BskyB's Now TV as was also banned as the ASA ruled it had exaggerated the content available on the streaming service.


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