Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Sunday Express blurs line between advertising and editorial

In August 2009, the Express was censured by the Advertising Standards Authority for passing off advertising as editorial.

And it was told off four times. In one week.

Yet Roy Greenslade thinks he's spotted the Sunday Express doing a similar thing:

The Sunday Express ran a two-page spread yesterday for HomeSun, the solar electricity company. It offered readers the chance to have a free solar system installed in their house. At the top of both pages, headlined "Solar so good... with HomeSun", there was a clear label very properly stating that it was an "advertising feature".

But readers who turned on a couple of pages would then have found a "news story", 'Give yourself a warm glow' that was a virtual re-run of the advertising content.
It was little more than a puff for the offer, with approving quotes from a HomeSun spokeswoman and the company's chief executive.

The ASA, like the PCC, don't have any particularly meaningful powers of punishment, however, which probably explains why it keeps happening.

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