• News (273)
    Campaign (07 Nov 2019)

    DWP ads for Universal Credit banned for misleading consumers

    THE DEPARTMENT FOR WORK & PENSIONS has had a series of Universal Credit press and online ads banned by THE ADVERTISING STANDARDS AUTHORITY because of misleading claims built on dubious research. The ads, which appeared in May and June in the METRO and MailOnline, carried a core message around various 'myths' and 'facts' about Universal Credit. 44 complaints were received including for the ads not being easily identifiable as marketing communications and the various 'myth' and 'fact' claims were misleading and unsubstantiated. The ASA ruled the ads on the webpages were not obviously identifiable as a marketing communication. It also condemned the claims about 'myths' and 'facts', which were based on two reports from 2015, both gave insufficient evidence built on methodologically questionable measures. The ASA ruled the ads must not appear again.

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    The Drum (30 Oct 2019)

    ASA scolds Paramount Pictures for irresponsibly targeting kids with distressing content

    THE ADVERTISING STANDARDS AUTHORITY has criticised PARAMOUNT PICTURES for running a YOUTUBE pre-roll ad for horror movie Pet Sematary in front of videos aimed at children. The ad appeared on YouTube in February before Fortnite videos on the DanTDM and FGTeev channels. The Pet Sematary ad featured scenes from the film and includes a voiceover saying 'there's something up in those woods, it brings things back...' and 'but sometimes dead is better'. Paramount Pictures argued that only adults aged between 18 and 54 were targeted, and said its media buying agency worked with YouTube to establish brand safety control mechanisms. The ASA said the ad contained scenes that children would find frightening and were likely to cause distress, and the channels targeted were more aimed towards children as they feature a significant amount of cartoon imagery. It ordered Paramount Pictures to make sure its future ads that were unsuitable for children did not appear in media that could appeal to them.

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