Easyjet and National Lottery copycat site ads slammed by ASA

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has continued its crackdown on copycat website advertising and banned ads from two different sites, which implied an affiliation with Easyjet and the National Lottery.

Easyjet complained to the ASA that a Bing-sponsored search result which appeared for directory company CTN Solutions and stated: "Call EasyJet Direct...for EasyJet Customer Services for bookings & flights", was misleading because they implied the advertiser was associated with easyJet.

Similarly Wagerpod, which is affiliated with the EuroMillions and UK National lotteries, complained to the ASA that hyperlinks on websites created by Take That publishing, which included www.national-lottery.com, implied that it was the official UK National Lottery website.

CTN solutions said it was an established directory service and maintained that the number would connect the caller directly with the EasyJet customer services department.

However the ASA said the wording the ad, together with with EasyJet in orange text, which was similar to the EasyJet logo would lead consumers to think it was associated with the airline. The ads must not appear again in the current form.

Similarly, Take That defended its websites and argued that they were not 'copycat' sites, and instead provided news, information and results about various lotteries, and were funded by affiliate marketing. They highlighted that they did not, and could not, sell lottery tickets.

Despite this the ASA said that consumers would not be aware of the difference and told Take That to ensure it did not imply its links directed consumers to the official EuroMillions site if that was not the case, and not to state or imply that its site was the official UK National Lottery site.

Last July five people were arrested after more than 5,700 people complained to the ASA and Citizens Advice about copycat government websites which scammed consumers into paying higher fees for documents such as passports and driving licences.

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