UK: ASA Adjudications Snapshot - June 2011

Last Updated: 9 August 2011
Article by Susan Barty, Alex Bowtell, Stuart Helmer and Lucy Kilshaw

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

This was a bumper month, in which the ASA considered several complaints made about various comparative adverts, making it clear that any qualifications to the nature of the comparison need to be clearly stated.  The ASA also adjudicated on complaints made about the scheduling of advertisements, in some circumstances going against previous Clearcast approvals.  In addition, Groupon came under fire again. 

Click here to view the snapshot in full.



1. Virgin Media Ltd, 29 June 2011 (Sky and BT complained about adverts relating to broadband speed and references to a "broadband" con being denigratory to other ISPs)


2. bmibaby Ltd, 15 June 2011 (An example of fifteen bookings was held to be insufficient to substantiate the claim that savings could not be made on "all flights for 2011")


3. MyCityDeal Ltd t/a Groupon, 8 June 2011 (Groupon was unable to provide the ASA with evidence to substantiate the "standard" price of the product that was the subject of a price-reduction advert)

4. Lions Gate UK Ltd, 1 June 2011 (the ASA decided that the overall impression made by the advert was too violent to be shown post-9pm, due to the heightened impact caused by the way in which scenes from the film were cut to form the advert)

5. Lions Gate UK Ltd, 29 June 2011 (A complaint that scenes shown in the advert for the film "Drive Angry 3D" were too offensive to have been aired on TV was not upheld on the basis that the advert was only being shown post-11pm)

6. Paramount Pictures UK, 15 June 2011 (a complaint that a TV advert for the film "No Strings Attached", which included the text "CAN BEST FRIENDS...BE SEX FRIENDS?", should not have been shown when children might see it was not upheld by the ASA)


7. Home Shopping Selections Ltd, 8 June 2011 (Home Shopping's claim that its knee support product provided "IMMEDIATE PAIN RELIEF" was held to be misleading by the ASA as the product has not been registered as a medical device and does not bear a CE mark)

8. Nutricia Ltd, 29 June 2011 (claims made concerning the benefits, and iron content, of Cow & Gate Growing Up Milk compared with breast and cow's milk were considered)


9. Anglian Windows Ltd, 29 June 2011 (a complaint was made by Whitchurch Windows that consumers may be misled into believing that a sponsored web-link for Anglian Windows shown in the search results for "Whitchurch Windows" was actually for Whitchurch Windows)


10. Comet Group plc, 15 June 2011 (online price checks for comparative claims, together with the setting of RRPs for exclusive products are discussed)


11. Unilever UK, 1 June 2011 (the substantiation of claims made in relation to taste comparisons between gravy products was considered)

12. Ferrero UK Ltd, 29 June 2011 (the overall impression given by an advert for Nutella chocolate spread was considered in deciding whether the advert misleadingly on the basis that it did not make the fat and sugar content clear)


13. Book A DSA Test, 15 June 2011 (the ASA held that the overall impression made by the advert was that the site was directly linked to the DSA, the web address and company name enhanced this impression)

14. All Vehicle Contracts Ltd t/a AutoBuddy, 15 June 2011 (A technical fault with a comparison website which had prevented the complainant from obtaining the quotes made in the advert was not held to be misleading when the marketer took immediate action to rectify this)

15. Text Marketer Ltd t/a Compare Bulk SMS Prices, 8 June 2011 (Consumers would expect comparisons of companies selling bulk SMS packages to be independent and include all companies selling bulk SMS packages unless otherwise stated)

16. Creative Media Ltd, 8 June 2011 (Competition winners should receive prizes no later than six weeks after the closing date for entries to the competition, unless specific provisions are made clear before entry)

17. Direct Line Group Ltd, 22 June 2011 (Direct Line provided sufficient information to customers concerning the qualifications to the advertised offer for them to be able to understand the full nature of the product that they could purchase)

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

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 03/08/2011.

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