UK: ASA Adjudications Snapshot - April 2008

Last Updated: 27 May 2008
Article by Susan Barty and Susie Carr

This snapshot provides a selection of the most interesting ASA adjudications from April. It provides a summary of some of the key issues considered in the adjudications, which we consider you may find useful. For example, this month's highlights include: the inappropriate lure of gambling advertisements, some interesting challenges in relation to Kellogg's dietary claims, consideration of mobile phone networks' use of the term "unlimited" and "free", and the ASA's decision to refer Ryanair to the OFT for repeatedly breach of the Code over the last two years.

To view the article in full, please see below:

Full Article

This article provides a selection of the most interesting ASA adjudications from April. They provide a summary only of some of the key issues considered in the adjudications, which we consider you may find useful. For example, this month's highlights include: the inappropriate lure of gambling advertisements, some interesting challenges in relation to Kellogg's dietary claims, consideration of mobile phone networks' use of the term "unlimited" and "free" the ASA's decision to refer Ryanair to the OFT for repeatedly breach of the Code over the last two years.

Click here to view the ASA Adjudications Snapshot for March 2008.


OIGE CG Ltd t/a InterCasino, 23 April 2008 (appeal to youth culture)

Paddy Power plc, 23 April 2008 (linking gambling to seduction and image improvement)

Abstract Games Ltd t/a Mediaprom, 30 April 2008 (scratch card terms clarity of postal entry route and distinction between gifts and prizes)


Arla Foods Ltd, 23 April 2008 ("Lactose-free" claims)

Kellogg Company of GB Ltd t/a Kellogg's, 23 April 2008 (offensiveness)

Kellogg Company of GB Ltd t/a Kellogg's, 23 April 2008 (dietary claims Coco Pops)

Kellogg Company of GB Ltd t/a Kellogg's, 30 April 2008 (dietary claims Special K)


Ryanair Ltd, 9 April 2008 (substantiation of claim - referral to the OFT)

Orange Personal Communications Services Ltd, 30 April 2008 (meaning of "unlimited" and use of "free")


1. OIGE CG Ltd t/a InterCasino, 23 April 2008

In this TV ad, two people of restricted growth were featured, dressed in dice costumes and wearing safety goggles and helmets, surveying the area around them from the top of a hill; a voice-over commentated in a mock Japanese game show style. The two characters rolled down the hill, crashing into a wall at the bottom of the hill, imitating a giant game of craps. Text stated, "over 18s [sic] only WIN" on the bottom of the screen. Three similar ads were also shown where the characters were dressed in cherry costumes (mimicking fruit from a fruit machine) and had their bodies painted with playing card patterns.

Complaint / Decision

Monitoring staff at the ASA challenged whether the ads (a) were of particular appeal to children and young persons, especially by reflecting or being associated with youth culture (b) featured characters behaving in an adolescent, juvenile or loutish way.

Both complaints were upheld: The ASA considered that the slapstick humour, sound effects and the comedic voice-over were juvenile and their tone and style were extremely similar to the types of programmes that had particular appeal to children and young persons. The ASA also considered that the way the people of restricted growth had been used in the ads was likely to increase the ads' appeal to children and young persons. Further, the ASA considered that the action of the characters (rolling down a hill while dressed in giant dice costumes), was seeking to imitate the commonplace childhood game of children rolling down a hill. Consequently the ad was in breach of the rules.

2. Paddy Power plc, 23 April 2008

A national press ad showed a short man in the back of a stretch limousine with two glamorous-looking women, holding a glass of champagne and a cigar. Text stated, "Who says you can't make money being short? Financial Spread Betting lets you bet on falling (going short) as well as rising share prices (going long)&".

Complaint / Decision

The complainant challenged whether the ad (a) irresponsibly linked gambling to seduction, sexual success and enhanced attractiveness and (b) implied that gambling could improve self-image or self-esteem or was a way to gain control, superiority, recognition or admiration.

Both complaints were upheld: The ASA concluded that, by showing the man between two glamorous women in the context of a direct reference to making money through financial spread betting, the ad irresponsibly linked gambling with sexual success and enhanced attractiveness. The ASA also concluded the ad suggested the man's "shortcoming" had been overcome by the wealth he had acquired through gambling and therefore that gambling was a way to improve self-esteem or gain recognition or admiration. On this basis, the ad was found to be in breach of the Code and irresponsible.

3. Abstract Games Ltd t/a Mediaprom, 30 April 2008

A scratch card stated "Reveal 4x £ symbols and you can claim the Nissan Qashqai or a cash amount See ticket back for details". Text on the back of the scratch card stated "Reveal 4x £ symbols and you have won a Nissan Qashqai or a great cash amount! &call the Claims Hotline on 0906 661 3813* or claim by mobile, text the word DAILY to 84142** alternatively see rules for postal entries.

If you reveal 4 identical symbols you are instantly guaranteed a minimum cash amount of £5 and you may have also hit the jackpot of a brand new Nissan Qashqai." Small print stated "To claim by post write to the claim address including 30p for return postage requesting a Claim Number&No purchase necessary."

Complaint / Decision

Several complaints were made. The two most interesting points of the adjudication were as follows:

The ASA considered that the £5 cash was available to the vast majority of people who revealed four symbols and, as such, this should have been distinguished clearly from the actual prizes consumers had the opportunity to win. The ASA concluded that the scratch card was in breach of the Code as it did not distinguish between gifts and prizes.

The second point, which was also upheld, was that the text about postal entries did not make sufficiently clear that it related to a no purchase route for obtaining a claim number. The CAP Copy Advice team had provided earlier advice to Mediaprom stating that the no purchase route needed to be clearer, but Mediaprom had ignored their suggested changes. As a result of several separate breaches of the Codes, CAP were told by the ASA to inform its media members of the issues with Mediaprom.


4. Arla Foods Ltd, 23 April 2008

A TV ad, for Lactofree milk, stated "Lactofree, the full taste of real milk, just without the lactose". Text on the packaging stated "with less than 0.05%" lactose.

Complaint / Decision

Two viewers claimed that the ad was misleading and potentially harmful, because they considered that the product contained 0.05% lactose.

Complaint not upheld: The advertiser produced UK-accredited tests, which it had undertaken, to demonstrate that Lactofree contained 0% lactose but at a detection level of 0.05%. The ASA understood that it was generally accepted that the lowest amount of lactose that could trigger symptoms in an individual who was lactose intolerant was 5g. Lactofree was well below the 5g margin and was therefore unlikely to have any effect on someone who suffered from lactose intolerance the ASA concluded that the ad was unlikely to mislead or cause harm to viewers.

5. Kellogg Company of GB Ltd t/a Kellogg's, 23 April 2008

A TV ad for a cereal bar was set in a doctor's surgery. A young man (who appeared to be a patient) said to an older man dressed in a doctor's coat "I get these weird feelings around eleven and four". The person appearing to be a doctor replied "Ah,& Cakey-pangs. You need oveny-bakey-cakeyness. I suggest you eat this Nutri-Grain". He then added "Now take off your trousers". The alarmed 'patient' asked "You're not a real doctor are you?" he replied "No. I'm a baker" as he put an oven glove on his hand.

Complaint / Decision

The most notable complaint was made by 42 complainants. They challenged whether the ad was offensive because it suggested the sexual abuse of younger people by authority figures.

Complaint not upheld: The patient character in the ad was clearly an adult and the ASA considered that he did not appear to be threatened by the "doctor", who was presented as a surreal, eccentric figure rather than as a powerful or authoritative figure. The ASA concluded that, whilst some viewers might find the ad distasteful, most would understand that the ad was light-hearted in tone and was attempting to be humorous.

6. Kellogg Company of GB Ltd t/a Kellogg's, 23 April 2008

The TV ad showed two children returning home from school. The girl said "I'm glad we're home" and the boy responded "Yeah, food would be an idea." The children then reached for a box of Coco Pops and each ate a bowl with milk. The voice-over stated "If you're looking for an after school snack Coco Pops and cold milk make perfect partners&Coco Pops and milk are a bowl full of chocolately fun even after school".

Complaint / Decision

Viewers challenged whether the ad encouraged a harmful dietary practice by encouraging parents to feed their children a product that was high in sugar as a snack. They also complained that it implied that it was appropriate for children to eat two bowls of Coco Pops a day.

Complaint not upheld: The ASA took the view that the ad neither implied excessive consumption nor that Coco Pops would necessarily be eaten for breakfast and also as a snack. The ASA noted that on-screen text had stated "As part of a healthy balanced diet and active lifestyle". The ASA did not consider that it was irresponsible to suggest that the product could be eaten as a snack as part of a balanced diet.

7. Kellogg Company of GB Ltd t/a Kellogg's, 30 April 2008

A TV ad, for Special K included the voiceover: "Jeans a bit tight since Christmas? Then take the Special K Slimmer Jeans Challenge. Two bowls, two meals, two weeks." Smaller on-screen text stated "Challenge can help slimming or weight control as part of a calorie controlled balanced diet & active lifestyle."

Complaint / Decision

The complaint was similar to that made in connection with the Coco Pops complaint above. A viewer considered that the ad was harmful and irresponsible because it encouraged consumption of Special K twice a day and unhealthy "quick-fix" dietary practices.

Complaint not upheld: The ASA considered that the ad was promoting a "kick-start" diet rather than long term healthy eating plan, which was to be combined with a balanced third meal. As such, it was concluded that the ad was unlikely to cause harm or promote excessive consumption, and did not disparage good dietary practice.


8. Ryanair Ltd, 9 April 2008

A national press ad, for Ryanair, stated "January sale 2 million seats from £10 one way, taxes & charges included travel Monday - Sunday ...".

Complaint / Decision

The complainant, who attempted to purchase a flight in the sale but could not find any discounted flights for travel on Fridays or Sundays, challenged whether the advertised seats were available Monday to Sunday.

Complaint upheld: Ryanair were unable to demonstrate to the ASA that the £10 flights were available for travel every day of the week in sufficient quantities to ensure a reasonable prospect of readers obtaining a flight at the headline price on the advertised days.

Over the past two years there have been many Ryanair ads which have breached the CAP Codes. As a result, the ASA have taken the rare step of referring Ryanair to the Office of Fair Trading for further action. In its decision, the ASA referred to Ryanair as having an "&unwillingness and apparent inability to comply with the Code rules on misleadingness&".

9. Orange Personal Communications Services Ltd, 30 April 2008

Various advertisements for Orange mobile referred to an offer for "unlimited free texts" with voice over/text stating that a Fair Usage Policy ("FUP") applies and that it required Top-ups of £30 a month.

Complaint / Decision

T Mobile and other complainants challenged (i) the use of the claim "unlimited" in connection with a fair usage policy (ii) the claim "free texts" as customers had to top-up with £30 each month to be eligible for the free texts and (iii) the claims "unlimited" and the statement "good things should never end" on the basis that they encouraged consumers to make heavy use of their free texts, thereby increasing the possibility of falling outside the FUP.

None of the complaints were upheld. The ASA was satisfied that that the FUP was fair and affected only unusual users who used in excess of 3000 texts per month. It considered that it was sufficient for Orange to qualify the claim "unlimited" with a reference to the existence of the FUP. Second, because customers could use the £30 top-up on call charges and still receive the text offer, and because the price of the top-up (£30) had not been inflated to take account of the promotional free texts, the ASA considered that use of the term free was not misleading. Finally, the ASA considered the evidence that, since the promotion had been introduced, the number of customers breaching the FUP limit had risen but concluded that those customers remained only a very small proportion of the total number of Orange's "unlimited" text customers. As such, the claims were held not to encourage customers to exceed the FUP.

Click here to access the ASA's helpful note on Price claims in Telecommunications marketing.

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 20/05/2008.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

In association with
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

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 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.


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.


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.


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.


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

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

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

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