The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) and Committees of Advertising Practice (CAP) Annual Report 2018 have been published revealing that more ads have been censored or banned than ever befor. And, in a year when online cases* outnumbered
television cases by almost 3:1, it also highlights the new, proactive and innovative projects ASA and CAP are undertaking as part of a new five year strategy focused on having more impact online.
In a record year, the ASA resolved 33,727complaints about 25,259 ads Of those, 16,059 complaints (41% increase on 2017) were about 14,257 online ads (38% increase) 10,773 complaints (14% increase) were about 5,748 TV ads (23% increase) Resolved
27,014 own-initiative compliance cases Overall, the ASA secured the amendment or withdrawal of 10,850 ads (a 53% increase on 2017)
The report also reviews the actions that have been taken to tackle consumer harms and to protect the financially vulnerable; including projects on:
Secondary Tickets -- rulings against the main operators in the secondary ticketing sector for misleading pricing claims on their websites, including enforcement action against viagogo (facing the prospect of prosecution, viagogo came into
compliance with our rules) Parcel Delivery Charges -- Enforcement Notice issued to retailers across the UK making clear that a definitive claim about UK delivery should apply wherever a consumer lives, including Northern Ireland and northern
Scotland Superimposed text - research published into whether TV viewers can read and understand superimposed text (supers). Subsequently, CAP toughened the standards we require for supers, while the ASA announced it will take a stricter approach
to ensure qualifications are presented clearly.
The ASA has already taken its first steps to strengthen further the regulation of online advertising through its recent use of new monitoring technology in the form of child avatars - online profiles which simulate children's browsing activity -
to identify ads that children see online. This has enabled the ASA to take swift action to ban ads from five gambling operators which were served to child avatars on children's websites. The ASA is planning to extend this avatar work, as well as
to explore how other new technologies can help it better protect the public.
The ASA don't seem to have broken out statistics that the Melon Farmers would like to know:
What proportion of the ASA's workload is enforcing political correctness?
What proportion of the ASA's workload is nannyism telling us for example what food is 'good' for us?
What proportion of the ASA's workload is treating people as simpletons that are likely to become alcoholics just because an attractive 21 year old appeared in an ad
Amsterdam based Friekens Brewery (Friekens Brouwerij) has apologized and removed Hindu deity Lord Ganesh's image, associated with its I.P.A beer, from its website, ins response to comments from the perennial whinger RajanZed.
Friekens Brewery wrote:
We would like to apologise for the use of the image of Ganesh on the label of our I.P.A. beer. We never meant to offend anyone. Our apology. All reference to Ganesh and his image have been removed from our website, and we will develop a new
brand identity for our I.P.A.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, thanked Friekens Brewery for understanding the concerns of Hindu community which thought image of Lord Ganesh on such a product was highly insensitive.
Rajan Zed suggested that companies should send their senior executives for training in religious and cultural sensitivity so that they had an understanding of the feelings of customers and communities when introducing new products or launching
A pair of entrepreneurs have been refused European trademark protection for their energy drink named Brexit after an EU body labelled it offensive.
Pawel Tumilowicz and Mariusz Majchrzak had attempted to register their product Brexit with the European Union Intellectual Property Office (Euipo) after they launched the drink in October 2016.
But they were denied on the grounds that EU citizens would be deeply offended by the appropriation of the word. Euipo claimed:
Citizens across the EU would be deeply offended if the expression at issue was registered as a European Union trade mark.
The pair then appealed before Euipo's Grand Board of Appea which rejected Euipo's judgement that the word was offensive. However it ruled that Brexit could not be trademarked because it was not distinctive enough under EU law and would be
The high-caffeine drink - which is described on its website as the only reasonable solution in this situation - is branded with the Union Jack and was only named after the contentious political event for a laugh, the Telegraph reports.
Polish activist Elzbieta Podlesna has been arrested for 'offending' religious beliefs for possessing copies of a poster showing the religious characters of the Virgin Mary and baby Jesus with rainbow halos.
Amnesty International's Regional Europe Researcher, Barbora Cernusakova, commented:
We are extremely concerned to hear that Elzbieta Podlesna, a Polish human rights activist, was arrested and detained for several hours on spurious charges upon her return to Poland from a trip to Belgium and the Netherlands with Amnesty
The posters had been posted around the town of Plock at the end of April. The posters depicted the Black Madonna of Czestochowa, one of the most highly revered icons in Poland.
Amnesty International said:
Given the lack of evidence of a crime here, we can only see that Elzbieta has been detained for her peaceful activism. Amnesty International calls on the Polish authorities to stop harassing peaceful protesters and activists in Poland, including
by arbitrarily arresting people who stand up for their rights. Restricting activists from freely expressing their views in the country is unlawful and must stop immediately.