UK: ASA Adjudications Snapshot - October 2010

Last Updated: 25 November 2010
Article by Susan Barty, Alex Bowtell, Stuart Helmer and Lucy Kilshaw

This article provides a selection of the most interesting ASA adjudications from October and a summary of the key issues considered in the adjudications.

This month, although the ASA considered a number of themes, the suitable targeting of adverts and the application of appropriate timing restrictions featured in many of the adjudications. This has been considered several times in recent months. This month, in considering its conclusions in respect of various adverts, the ASA took into account the use of ex-kids restrictions to minimise the chances of young children viewing the adverts.

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HEALTH AND BEAUTY

1. Beiersdorf UK Ltd, 6 October 2010 (an advert for a sun lotion that portrayed tanning as desirable did not condone or encourage behaviour prejudicial to health)

FOOD AND DRINK

2. Antonio Federici, 27 October 2010 (an advert for ice cream was considered to be offensive on religious grounds)

3. Kerry Foods Ltd, 20 October 2010 (the ASA did not consider that a "meatiest" claim in an advert parodying another retailer's advertising style referred to the product containing more meat than competitors' products)

4. Premier Foods Group Ltd, 20 October 2010 (the ASA considered the risk of emulation and targeting of adverts)

RETAIL

5. LA Muscle TV Limited, 13 October 2010 (following a challenge by the CAP Monitoring team, the ASA concluded that a product's name can itself constitute a claim which must be substantiated)

6. Sit-Up Ltd, 20 October 2010 (an advert which mistakenly implied that customers would make an increased saving than they actually would was considered misleading)

7. Waitrose Ltd, 20 October 2010 (any terms used must be understandable to consumers; it is not sufficient that terms used in adverts are generally accepted in the relevant industry)

8. Tesco Stores Ltd, 13 October 2010 (three complaints by a rival supermarket relating to the substantiation of claims regarding Tesco butchers and meat were not upheld)

LEISURE

9. Nintendo of Europe GmbH, 20 October 2010 (complaints that children in an advert should have been using a car booster seat were not upheld)

10. Virgin Media Ltd, 27 October 2010 (the ASA acknowledged the subjective nature of a "best" claim)

11. Sony Europe Ltd, 6 October 2010 (the ASA considered the risk of emulation in an advert that it considered might be distasteful to some, but did not uphold complaints)

12. MTV Networks Europe t/a Viva, 20 October 2010 (the ASA considered timing restrictions placed on two adverts when concluding that the adverts were unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence)

OTHER

13. The Automobile Association Ltd, 13 October 2010 (the ASA considered that information in the small print contradicted, rather than qualified the headline claim in the advert)

14. Ryanair Ltd, 13 October 2010 (the advertiser did not provide evidence to substantiate a claim for the whole period to which it related, and did not make clear on which the headline claim was based)

NON-COMMERCIAL

15. Oxfam t/a Oxfam GB, 27 October 2010 (the ASA did not uphold complaints against a climate change advert, as it considered that the claim was substantiated and restrained)

MISCELLANEOUS

Department of Energy and Climate Change – Ofcom Decision (Following its investigation, Ofcom that the DECC's Act on CO2 "Bedtime Stories" campaign was not political advertising)

Prosecution under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 (A wheel-clamper has been successfully prosecuted under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008, and was ordered to reimburse his victims the money they had paid to secure the release of their cars)

HEALTH AND BEAUTY

1. Beiersdorf UK Ltd, 6 October 2010

A TV advert for a sun lotion featured a voice-over stating "New Nivea Protect and Bronze is our first sun lotion which helps protect your skin whilst its active ingredient supports your natural tanning ability without any self tan." The voice-over also claimed "after all, 57% of us admit to being envious of friends who tan easily..." On-screen text read "57% of 11,505 respondents...".

Complaint/Decision

A doctor complained that the advert was harmful and prejudicial to health because it suggested that the ability to tan easily was desirable and to be envied. The complainant argued that tanning was a sign of skin damage and, in light of the dangers of skin cancer, should be discouraged.

The ASA took the view that the statistic in the advert reflected the fact that many consumers liked to tan. It considered that the advert accepted that tanning was popular by encouraging consumers to use a product that provided sun protection whilst assisting with tanning. It acknowledged that the women featured in the advert were not excessively tanned and concluded that the advert was unlikely to be seen to encourage or condone behaviour prejudicial to health.

This adjudication is interesting because although tanning is potentially prejudicial to health, the advert encouraged the use of sun protection at the same time as tanning, and was therefore considered acceptable. The ASA did not comment on the statistic quoted in the advert by the advertiser because the complaint did not relate to substantiation, however a positive response of 57% in a consumer survey is arguably not a particularly emphatic percentage.

FOOD AND DRINK

2. Antonio Federici, 27 October 2010

A magazine advert for ice cream showed two robed priests who looked like they were about to kiss. The advert included text reading "We Believe in Salivation".

Complaint/Decision

The ASA received six complaints that the advert was offensive on the grounds that it mocked Catholicism.

The ASA considered that the portrayal of the two priests in a sexualised manner was likely to be interpreted as mocking Catholic beliefs and was therefore likely to cause serious offence to some. Accordingly, the ASA concluded that the advert breached the CAP Code.

In its response to the ASA, the advertiser had stated that, rather than mocking the beliefs of the Catholic Church, the advert was designed to reflect the troubles that it believed affected the Church. However, the adjudication serves as a reminder of the sensitivities of the portrayal of religion in adverts. Adverts featuring or seeking to parody religion regularly attract complaints on the grounds of offensiveness and this is an area where complaints are often upheld. This is the third advert for Antonio Federici ice cream, seeking to play on a religious theme, where complaints have been upheld, including as recently as September.

3. Kerry Foods Ltd, 20 October 2010

A radio advert for sausage rolls stated "This isn't just any sausage roll. This is a Wall's sausage roll. This is the most light, flaky, mouth-watering, golden brown pastry known to man. Flaky pastry layers wrapped around the tastiest meatiest, most meaty, succulent pork meat imaginable. This is a sausage roll guaranteed to fill you up and fire you forward. This isn't just a sausage roll. This is proper food. Wall's proper food."

Complaint/Decision

One listener understood that other sausage rolls contained a higher percentage of pork and therefore complained that the claim "meatiest" was misleading.

The ASA acknowledged that the advert parodied the advertising style of a well-known food retailer, with its use of evocative words. Accordingly, the ASA considered that most listeners would interpret the style of the advert to be a comic device and would not interpret the word "meatiest" as a claim comparing the advertiser's product to those of its competitors. The ASA concluded that the advert promoted the product as "tasty and desirable" and was not misleading.

This advert shows that, provided claims are made in an appropriate style, claims which might otherwise be considered as superiority claims can be accepted as advertising puff. The use of humour and "clearly exaggerated" language meant that the advert was not considered to be misleading.

4. Premier Foods Group Ltd, 20 October 2010

This adjudication concerned two TV bread adverts. The first was set in the 1970s and featured the same teenage girl in various short scenes, for example showing her hitting a schoolboy over the head with a notebook when he called her names, making a prank phone call, throwing flour in cookery class and pushing a teacher into a swimming pool. One of the scenes showed the girl holding a piece of bread above a dog as it jumped to reach it. Bread was then put into a toaster and the voice over stated "there comes a time when it's good to be good" and a woman was shown taking the toast out of the toaster. The second TV advert was the same, but featured additional scenes such as the girl being pushed down the street in a shopping trolley, and her pushing a friend in a ballet class.

Complaint/Decision

The ASA received four complaints that the adverts were irresponsible and condoned anti-social behaviour and bullying. One of the complainants also challenged whether the scene featuring the dog was cruel and could encourage emulation.

The ASA noted that the adverts were designed to contrast the girl's mischievous behaviour in the past with the sensible choice she made as an adult to eat the advertiser's product. It acknowledged that in several of the short scenes the girl was reprimanded. The ASA specifically considered the timing restrictions placed on the adverts; the first advert would not be seen by very young children and the second would only be shown after 9 pm. Accordingly the ASA concluded that the adverts were not irresponsible.

The ASA noted that the scene with the dog featured in both adverts, and ex-kids restrictions applied to these. The animal was not in distress and a vet had been on the set when the advert was filmed. On the basis of this, as well as the ex-kids restriction preventing very young children from viewing the adverts, the ASA concluded that the adverts were not cruel and would not encourage emulation.

Risk of emulation often attracts complaints about adverts, as do adverts featuring animals in humorous scenarios. However, this adjudication serves to illustrate the importance of placing appropriate timing restrictions on adverts; the ASA specifically referred to these restrictions when reaching its decisions not to uphold any of the complaints about this advert.

RETAIL

5. LA Muscle TV Limited, 13 October 2010

This adjudication relates to eight television adverts for various food supplements. Two of the adverts featured products named "Fat Stripper" and "Fat Stripper Intense" respectively, whilst one of the other products advertised was named "Slinky". Certain adverts referred to the respectively advertised products as "pharmaceutical grade".

Complaint/Decision

The CAP Monitoring team challenged the adverts on five grounds including that the product names "Fat Stripper", "Fat Stripper Intense" and "Slinky" were implied claims. One of the challenges also related to whether "pharmaceutical grade" implied that the supplements were as effective as pharmaceutical products.

The ASA upheld all of the complaints about these adverts, including those set out above. It considered that the names "Fat Stripper" and "Fat Stripper Intense" implied claims that the respective products would remove fat. This was enhanced by the images of muscular, lean models used in each of the relevant adverts. In the absence of evidence to substantiate the claims that the products would remove fat, the ASA concluded that the adverts for these products were misleading. Similarly, the advert for "Slinky" featured a female fitness model. The ASA further considered that the advert contained a testimonial that could not be supported by documentary evidence and therefore "Slinky" was a misleading claim.

This adjudication highlights the role of the CAP Monitoring team in reviewing and, on occasion, challenging adverts by means of formal complaint, notwithstanding the absence of other complaints to the ASA. Further, the decision reminds advertisers that product names themselves can be found to constitute advertising claims and therefore, where this is the case, must be capable of substantiation.

6. Sit-Up Ltd, 20 October 2010

A teleshopping advert for a wind-up radio featured a presenter encouraging viewers to purchase the product. The presenter stated "here comes the price that we paid for it, £18". The price at which the product was being sold was £4.

Complaint/Decision

The complainant challenged whether the claim "here comes the price that we paid for it, £18" was misleading and could be substantiated.

In its response to the ASA, the advertiser explained that a production error had meant that £18 was quoted as the advertiser's cost price, when in fact this had been £7.80. The ASA noted that customers who had bought the products had still received the product for less than the cost price, despite the error. However, presenting a price that was so much higher than the real cost price implied that consumers were getting a better deal than they actually were, which the ASA considered might have encouraged viewers who would not normally have purchased the product to do so. The complaint was therefore upheld.

Although this adjudication concerned a clear error on pricing, this is another area which often attracts complaints. When advertising these sorts of pricing incentives, advertisers need to ensure that they take account of the BERR Pricing Practices Guide as well as the CAP or BCAP Codes. The OFT is also currently looking at pricing issues including reference pricing.

7. Waitrose Ltd, 20 October 2010

This adjudication concerns two television adverts featuring celebrity chefs discussing food, together with a press advert for meat. The first television advert showed a celebrity chef discussing pork with a farmer and included statements such as "in my opinion, some of the best tasting pork comes from British pigs that have been outdoor bred". The chef then asked the farmer what he thought made outdoor pigs more tasty, to which the farmer responded "... plenty of fresh air, cereal-based diet and of course a comfortable bed". The advert featured shots of pigs laying on straw in a sty. In the second television advert the celebrity chef stated "Waitrose essential pork comes from pigs that are outdoor bred...". The advert also made reference to "happy pigs".

The press advert included the text "All essential Waitrose pork and bacon comes from British outdoor bred pigs".

Complaint/Decision

Five members of the public complained that the adverts were misleading on the basis that they implied that Waitrose meat came from pigs that spent the duration of their lives outdoors. They understood that, in fact, after a few weeks the pigs were reared indoors.

The ASA upheld these complaints; it acknowledged that in the pig-farming industry the term "outdoor bred" might be commonly understood to refer to pigs that had been born outdoors where they were kept for a period before being moved indoors. However, the ASA considered that the average consumer was unlikely to understand its meaning without explanation and that the adverts implied that the pigs lived outdoors. As this was not the case, the ASA concluded that the adverts were misleading.

This adjudication reminds advertisers that any terms used in their adverts must be understandable to consumers; in this instance it was insufficient that the terminology used was industry-accepted jargon.

8. Tesco Stores Ltd, 13 October 2010

A national press advert for Tesco stated "Finest Beef. Our butchers take their time... Tesco butchers are fussy when it comes to Finest beef. For starters, they'll only use meat from long established, family-run British farms". Small print read "Subject to availability. Selected UK stores".

Complaint/Decision

WM Morrison Supermarkets challenged the advert on three grounds: First, on the basis that it misleadingly implied that Tesco employed its own butchers; secondly, that it misleadingly implied that Tesco cut meat for customers in-store; and thirdly, that claim regarding the use of meat from "long established, family run British farms" was misleading and could not be substantiated.

The ASA did not uphold any of these claims. It noted that butchers at Tesco's two meat suppliers worked to Tesco specifications and that suppliers at those sites only supplied Tesco; although the butchers were employed by the meat suppliers, they only worked on meat for Tesco. Accordingly the ASA did not consider that the claims relating to "Tesco butchers" were misleading. In respect of the second challenge to the advert, the ASA acknowledged that in shops that had meat counters, in-store butchers prepare meat for customers. It considered that the footnote made it clear to consumers that in-store butchers were not available in every Tesco store. The ASA therefore concluded that the advert was not misleading in this respect. Finally, the ASA considered the evidence provided by Tesco, which listed every farm from which their Finest beef was sourced. The document, as well as accompanying signed testimonials, substantiated the claim that Tesco "only use meat from long established, family-run British farm". Accordingly, the ASA did not uphold this complaint.

This advert is the latest in a series of complaints made by major supermarkets against competitors' advertising campaigns. Claims by major supermarkets as to the quality and the sourcing of their products (often emphasising local credentials) are particularly subject to attention. For example, Tesco was recently the subject of an adjudication in respect of its "in-store" bakeries (July 2010), in respect of which the claim was, on that occasion, upheld.

LEISURE

9. Nintendo of Europe GmbH, 20 October 2010

A TV advert for a games console showed two boys in the back of a car playing a game. Both boys were wearing standard seatbelts.

Complaint/Decision

The ASA received one complaint that the advert was irresponsible; the complainant believed that the children fell within the age and height restrictions to use a child booster seat, but in the advert neither did so.

The ASA noted the height up to which children must use booster seats and noted that the younger child was exactly that height. The older child was taller and therefore both were legally able to wear a normal style seatbelt without a booster seat.

Despite the complaint not being upheld, this advert serves as a warning for advertisers that their adverts may attract unexpected safety complaints. In June 2009, the ASA received complaints about an advert for Diet Coke in which the singer Duffy was shown riding a bicycle without reflective clothing. These complaints were also not upheld. However, in August 2007, the ASA upheld a complaint in respect of a Coca-Cola advert for a sports drink on the basis that the cyclist featured was not wearing reflective clothing or lights. Advertisers should therefore be aware of the need to carefully consider safety issues.

10. Virgin Media Ltd, 27 October 2010

A newspaper/magazine insert for Virgin Media advertised "TV and calls from £5.50 a month when you switch to a Virgin phone line ... It's all yours from just £5.50 a month..." Text below stated "All the best channels", "Plus a range of HD channels" and "Plus loads On Demand" and showed logos of a number of TV channels and On Demand services. The text also stated "Over 500 movies On Demand, many in HD, and thousands of TV shows to watch whenever you want ...".

The advert contained small print which read "On Demand movies are pay-per-title. TV Choice On Demand is included with TV size XL or £7 a month with TV sizes M and L..."

On the third page, under the heading "£5.50 a month", ticked boxes stated "TV - 65 digital TV channels ...". Ticked boxes underneath the heading "£23 a month" stated "TV -160 digital TV channel ... All our amazing HD channels ...".

Complaint/Decision

The advert attracted a complaint from Sky, who challenged whether the claim "It's all yours from £5.50 a month" misleadingly implied that all the TV channels and On Demand services listed in the leaflet were included in the £5.50 package. Sky also challenged whether the claim "All the best channels" was misleading and could be substantiated, as only three of the listed channels were in the top 15 most watched satellite and cable channels.

The ASA considered that the tick boxes on the third page of the insert made it clear that 65 channels were included within the package. However, the tick boxes did not indicate which channels those were and the ASA considered that the use of the TV/On Demand logos with the claims "It's all yours from just £5.50 a month ..." and "All the best channels" implied that all of the listed channels and services were included. As this was not the case, the ASA upheld the complaint in respect of Sky's first challenge.

In relation to the second challenge, the ASA considered that the insert did not make reference to the most popular or most watched channels, but instead referred to the "best" channels. The ASA considered that this was subjective and consumers would understand this to be Virgin's opinion. Accordingly the ASA did not uphold this challenge.

This adjudication, the latest in the ongoing battle between Sky about Virgin Media, is a useful example of the ASA allowing a "best" claim and acknowledging that consumers would recognise that the claim was an expression of the subjective opinion of the advertiser. Advertisers should still take care not to mislead when using such claims; the ASA in this case noted that the insert contained logos making it clear to which channels the claim related. However, this adjudication also emphasises the need for clarity when seeking to rely on a "from £x" claim, particularly for products or services which include complex packages.

11. Sony Europe Ltd, 6 October 2010

A TV advert featured children playing football in a large stadium full of supporters. After a shot on goal was saved, one of the boys turned away and spat. The advert cut to the same children playing in a park. On-screen text read "Imagine reliving the greatest games... Sony Internet TV".

Complaint/Decision

56 viewers complained that the shot of the child spitting was offensive and that the advert risked causing emulation of antisocial behaviour, on the grounds that it glamorised spitting.

The ASA noted that the scene in the advert was brief and appeared in the context of children emulating professional footballers, who spit after intense physical exercise. The ASA therefore did not consider that the advert was likely to cause serious or widespread offence, although it did note that some would find it distasteful. Also, the ASA considered that the final shot of the boys playing in a park emphasised the clearly fantastical context of the advert and did not consider that the act of spitting had been glamorised.

Despite a relatively large number of complaints, this is an example of an advert that was acceptable to the ASA, notwithstanding its acknowledgement that some consumers might find it in bad taste. This accords with recent decisions taken by the ASA, such as that in respect of the Nandos adverts. This is an example of a situation where emulation was not considered to be a risk on the basis that the advert was fantastical and removed from reality.

12. MTV Networks Europe t/a Viva, 20 October 2010

Two TV adverts for a TV channel featured characters who spoke with South African accents and who consequently pronounced "like" as "lick". One stated "We lick Viva eh. I lick it a lot, I can't get enough. I'm licking it twenty four seven". The final scene in the adverts showed four people spelling out "VIVA" with their bodies. A voice-over with an English accent stated "lick your Viva".

The first advert also showed the names of TV shows, together with the word "VIVA" on the front of a t-shirt, shaved into someone's hair and on a man's torso. This advert had no timing restiction placed on it. In the second advert, names of TV programmes were shown on a woman's breast; she pulled her top down to partly expose this. This advert carried an ex-kids restriction.

Complaint/Decision

The ASA received three complaints from viewers who thought that the adverts were likely to cause serious or widespread offence because they were sexually suggestive. They also challenged whether the adverts were suitable for showing when children might be watching.

The ASA acknowledged that the adverts might be distasteful to some, but considered that they were intended to show "Viva" in a light-hearted way. With regard to the second advert, the ASA considered that, although one of the women moved her top down slightly, the advert was not explicit or overtly sexual. The ASA also took into account the timing restriction, which meant that the second advert was unlikely to be viewed by children watching TV alone. The ASA noted that the first advert did not contain the suggestive scenes and therefore did not consider it unsuitable for children. Accordingly the ASA did not uphold the complaints.

This decision, as with that relating to Premier Foods Group Ltd above, again serves to remind advertisers of the need to target adverts at appropriate consumers and to apply suitable timing restrictions, particularly where a theme in the advert might be regarded as more suitable for adults.

OTHER

13. The Automobile Association Ltd, 13 October 2010

An internet sales promotion for driving lessons was entitled "HALF PRICE AA driving lessons from only £10.50 per hour*". The asterisk referred consumers to a footnote which stated that the discounted lessons were based on a minimum block booking of five hours, the first three hours of which would be charged at full price with the last two being charged at half price.

Complaint/Decision

One person complained that the headline claim was misleading, as the footnote stated that the first three hours would be charged at full price, with the fourth and fifth at half price.

The ASA upheld this complaint. It acknowledged that the asterisk referred consumers to the terms and conditions of the offer and noted that it was acceptable for the AA to offer discounted lessons dependent upon the booking of additional full price lessons. However, it considered that the headline claim implied that unlimited lessons could be booked at the discounted price; the promotion did not make clear that the discounted price stated was limited to two lessons booked as part of a block booking.

This adjudication reminds advertisers that conditions shown in adverts should qualify, rather than contradict headline claims in order to avoid misleading consumers. It is interesting to note that the conditions were available in subsequent click-throughs, but on the basis of the information in the advert, the ASA still concluded that the advert was likely to mislead.

14. Ryanair Ltd, 13 October 2010

A national press advert for Ryanair was headlined "CHEAPEST WAY TO THE SUN" and listed various destinations to which Ryanair travelled. Small print at the bottom of the advert read "Book now for summer 2010..." and gave the advertiser's website details.

Complaint/Decision

EasyJet challenged whether the headline claim "CHEAPEST WAY TO THE SUN" could be substantiated, and whether the advert was misleading because it did not make the clear on what the claim was based.

In its response to the ASA, Ryanair provided evidence in the form of fares published by its competitors and screen grabs from its competitors' and its own websites. The ASA considered this, but concluded that the statement "Book now for summer 2010..." meant that the claim must be substantiated by evidence showing that Ryanair was cheapest during the whole of summer 2010. Ryanair had not provided evidence to show that they were the cheapest for the whole period of summer 2010, and therefore the ASA concluded that the claim could not be substantiated. The ASA also noted that the advert did not make clear to consumers upon what the claim was based, and consequently readers were unlikely to know whether the claim was a price promise, an average claim relating to previous fares or Ryanair's opinion. Accordingly the ASA concluded that the advert was misleading and upheld the complaint.

This adjudication shows that if advertisers are making wide claims, they will need to have evidence to substantiate those claims. The ASA has upheld several claims against Ryanair in the past few years. Indeed, in 2008 the ASA specifically expressed extreme concern about Ryanair's breaches of the advertising codes and, in the same year, took the rare step of referring Ryanair to the Office of Fair Trading. The reference to the OFT was concluded somewhat unconvincingly in July 2009. Following that there were no complaints about Ryanair adverts for a year, until EasyJet successfully challenged a Ryanair advert in July 2010 and now this adjudication.

NON-COMMERCIAL

15. Oxfam t/a Oxfam GB, 27 October 2010

A poster for Oxfam stated "People dying thanks to climate change is a long way off. About 5000 miles, give or take ... Our politicians have the power to help get a climate deal back on track ... Let's sort it here and now".

Complaint/Decision

Four complainants challenged whether the statement in the advert was misleading and could be substantiated because they did not believe that it had been proven that people were dying as a result of climate change.

The ASA considered that there was "robust consensus" among authoritative national and international bodies that strong evidence of human-induced climate change existed. The ASA acknowledged that "Our politicians have the power to help get a climate deal back on track ... let's sort it here and now" linked human action and climate change. In its response to the ASA, Oxfam supplied information and publications from various organisations including the World Health Organisation and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change linking weather-related disasters and climate change to human deaths and diseases. The ASA noted that Oxfam's claim did not state that a specific number of deaths were attributable to climate change and the advert did not speculate about possible future deaths. As a result of this, and the consensus that climate change could be induced by humans and was resulting in deaths, the ASA concluded that the advert was not misleading.

This advert follows a similar theme to the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) "Act on CO2" Bedtime Story campaign, which was the subject of 939 complaints to the ASA and in relation to which the ASA issued an adjudication in March 2010. In relation to the Oxfam advert, the ASA specifically noted that Oxfam's claim was "reasonably restrained"; in relation to the DECC advert, the ASA considered that one of the bold claims in the adverts should have been phrased "more tentatively".

MISCELLANEOUS

Department of Energy and Climate Change – Ofcom Decision

On 11 October 2010 Ofcom published the results of its investigation into the DECC "Bedtime Stories" advertising campaign. Whilst the ASA had already adjudicated on the adverts in relation to complaints within its remit, Ofcom is responsible for the rules on "political advertising". Ofcom had received 537 complaints that the advertising campaign was of a political nature, many of which had been referred to it by the ASA. Complainants had challenged whether the adverts had a political purpose, thereby breaching the Communications Act 2003 and the BCAP Television Advertising Standards Code. In its investigation Ofcom considered the purpose of the advert and the way in which the advert conveyed its message. It concluded that the advert was of a "public service nature" and therefore it did not breach the legislation and Code.

Prosecution under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008

On 2 November 2010 a rogue wheel-clamper was given a suspended prison sentence and was ordered to pay a fine and to reimburse his victims the money they had paid to secure the release of their vehicles. The clamper, who had previously been disqualified as a company director and whose business had gone into liquidation, pleaded guilty to a number of offences including aggressive trading. This is one of relatively few cases of an actual prosecution under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008, after the wheel-clamper's employees used threats to intimidate motorists into paying over £300 each in clamping charges.

This article was written for Law-Now, CMS Cameron McKenna's free online information service. To register for Law-Now, please go to www.law-now.com/law-now/mondaq

Law-Now information is for general purposes and guidance only. The information and opinions expressed in all Law-Now articles are not necessarily comprehensive and do not purport to give professional or legal advice. All Law-Now information relates to circumstances prevailing at the date of its original publication and may not have been updated to reflect subsequent developments.

The original publication date for this article was 24/11/2010.

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If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to unsubscribe@mondaq.com with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.

Cookies

A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.

Links

This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.

Mail-A-Friend

If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.

Security

This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to webmaster@mondaq.com.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to EditorialAdvisor@mondaq.com.

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at enquiries@mondaq.com.

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at problems@mondaq.com and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.