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ASA clears Bauer Media over Jerusalem gaff

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By Jessica Goodfellow, Media Reporter

April 5, 2016 | 3 min read

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has cleared Bauer Media over charges of misleading its audience over the thorny issue of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict in one of its competitions to win a trip to Israel.

The competition ran on Bauer’s radio station Magic in October last year, offering listeners the chance to win a trip to Israel. The promotion, which ran on Magic’s website, included images of a recent trip to Israel taken by the station’s staff, which showed the Old City of Jerusalem, including a picture of the Temple Mount.

The status of the Old City of Jerusalem, in which the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the Dome of the Rock (in the Temple Mount) are located, is the subject of much international dispute.

Three complainants challenged whether the ad misleadingly implied the Old City of Jerusalem was internationally recognised as part of Israel.

Bauer said the campaign was intended to promote Israel as a tourist destination, and that only a small proportion of the promotion made any reference to Jerusalem. What’s more, the The Israeli Government Tourist Office (IGTO) saw this as relevant to the promotion since many people visit Israel specifically to see the Old City of Jerusalem, which contains many historical tourist sites.

Bauer made clear it was aware of the status of Jerusalem and believed its listeners would likely be aware of this too, given the extensive reporting on the issue in the media.

The media group did not seek to make a political statement, it claimed, instead providing audiences with practical information by making clear that the only way to access the Old City was via Israel itself, which the the IGTO confirmed in its assessment of the campaign.

The IGTO added that it was indeed possible the image of the Old City that appeared in the campaign had been taken from a viewing point within Israel itself.

The ASA ruled the ad was not misleading, intended to promote Israel as a tourist destination, and that visitors to the competition page were likely to be interested in Israel for the attractions it offered, including that of Jerusalem.

ASA Bauer Media Israel

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