UK: ASA Adjudications Snapshot - February 2012

Last Updated: 9 April 2012
Article by Susan Barty, Alex Bowtell, Stuart Helmer and Lucy Kilshaw

This article provides a selection of the most interesting ASA adjudications from February and a summary of the key issues considered in those adjudications. In particular, the ASA considered three L'oréal adverts and their use of post production techniques, and adjudicated on the well-publicised complaints against various claims on the TripAdvisor website. The ASA also considered complaints against a number of adverts featuring sexual imagery, with the outcomes differing predominantly depending on whether the imagery related to the advertised products.

This month also sees the OFT launching a review of the payday lending sector, following serious concerns that some lenders may be targeting and taking advantage of those in financial difficulty. The fast-growing sector is widely advertised, with lenders such as Wonga and Quick Quid advertising on mainstream TV channels. The review will further investigate compliance with the Consumer Credit Act and update current OFT guidance on irresponsible lending.

Click here to view the Snapshot in full.



1. Henckel AG & Co KGaA t/a Schwarzkopf, 1 February 2012 (The ASA considered claims in relation to hair colouring products)

2. L'oréal (UK) Ltd t/a L'oréal Paris, 1 February 2012 (The ASA considered three separate adverts on the basis of whether they misleadingly exaggerated the effects that could be achieved by the advertised products)


3. LG Electronics Ltd, 1 February 2012 (Samsung successfully challenged a number of claims made by LG in respect of its HD TV technology)

4. Virgin Media Ltd, 15 February 2012 (The ASA considered complaints by BSkyB in respect of comparative adverts for TV set top boxes and capability claims)


5. Solarking UK, 15 February 2012 (The ASA considered whether the claim 'become energy bill free' could be substantiated)


6. Levi Strauss & Co t/a Levi's, 1 February 2012 (A magazine advert showing young people holding lit fireworks was found to be harmful and irresponsible)

7.  Marks and Spencer, 15 February 2012 (Complainants challenged whether moving display lingerie adverts were offensive and inappropriate)


8.  Aldi Stores Ltd, 1 February 2012 (The ASA considered comparative claims relating to supermarket goods)

9.  Kellogg Marketing and Sales Company (UK) Ltd, 1 February 2012 (The ASA considered whether adverts for cereal products breached health and nutrition Code rules)

10.  Antonio Federici, 29 February 2012 (Complaints that a magazine advert for ice cream was offensive on religious grounds were not upheld)

11. Bacardi-Martini Ltd, 8 February 2012 (The ASA considered whether an online prize promotion by Bacardi on a radio station website was appropriate)


12.  Ryanair Ltd, 15 February 2012 (Complainants challenged whether newspaper adverts were sexist, objectified women, offensive and unsuitable for display)

13.  TripAdvisor LLC, 1 February 2012 (The ASA considered whether travel reviews could be claimed to be genuine)


14. The Sofa King Ltd, 29 February 2012 (The ASA upheld complaints against an advertising slogan alluding to a swear word)

15.  Robert Dyas Holdings Ltd, 8 February 2012 (A savings claim was considered to be misleading following failure by the advertiser to provide substantiation of the product selling for the higher advertised price)

16.  Comet Group plc, 8 February 2012 (The extent of savings on discounted products was challenged)

17.  The Ltd t/a, 15 February 2012 (The ASA considered that advertisers had not made a reasonable estimate of the likely response to a promotion)


18.  MyCityDeal Ltd t/a Groupon UK, 1 February (The ASA held that there was no evidence to substantiate that a sportswear product could aid weight loss or reduce cellulite, whilst the OFT announced the results of its investigation into Groupon's trading practices)

19.  Electronic Arts Ltd, 8 February 2012 (An advert for a video game was considered to be light hearted and mildly suggestive rather than overtly sexual and offensive)

20.  Cassava Enterprises (Gibraltar) Ltd t/a, 29 February 2012 (The complainant challenged whether an advert for online poker linked gambling to seduction and sexual success)

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 29/03/2012.

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