Thursday, 13 September 2012

ASA upholds complaints against the Mail

The Advertising Standards Agency has upheld 48 complaints about a Jubilee DVD offer in the Mail:

a. The TV ad featured a voice-over which stated, "Free with Saturdays [sic] Daily Mail, the very best of the Jubilee on one spectacular DVD. Relive the magic of four historic days, captured on film with the majesty they deserve.  Together with a glorious souvenir booklet for you to treasure. Free Jubilee DVD offered only with Saturdays [sic] Mail."  On-screen text stated "Concert footage not included. Collect tokens from Mail and Mail On Sunday. Postage payable allow 56 days for delivery". 

b. The press ad stated "FREE DVD Best of the Jubilee celebrations WITH SATURDAY'S Daily Mail".

Associated Newspapers argued that 'free with' was completely different to 'free in' and:

because the on-screen text provided additional information about where to collect the tokens and postage details it added clarity to, rather than contradicting, the voice-over.

But the ASA ruled:

that that was not a sufficiently clear distinction, particularly when the Saturday edition of the newspaper was referred to in isolation. We acknowledged the on-screen text provided further details of how the offer worked, but we considered that the qualifying text contradicted the claims in the voice-over and we concluded that the ad was misleading.

Associated Newspapers:

accepted one of their press ads had not stated that the offer required consumers to collect tokens, but they did not feel that alone was sufficient to mislead consumers, given the other ads which had subsequently appeared, all of which had stated the relevant condition. In particular, they pointed out that the front page of Saturday's edition of the Mail stated the condition.

The ASA also ruled this ad to be 'misleading':

We considered consumers could have seen the relevant press ad in isolation and decided to purchase Saturday's Daily Mail as a result, without being aware that they would be required to collect tokens in order to obtain the DVD.  We therefore concluded the ad was misleading.

The Mail has been told not to do it again. 


  1. If the words were a spoken voice-over, how did the transcriber know "Saturday's" lacked the apostrophe?

  2. I initially assumed that was notation by Tabloid Watch on the ASA's writeup, but the [sic] is on the ASA's site. Perhaps the Mail provided a transcript with the typo?


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