Advertising watchdogs have refused to back the chorus of protest
over a shock ad by Barnardo’s showing a baby about to inject heroin.
Despite the refusal of a number of newspapers to carry the ad, the
Advertising Standards Authority has ruled that the charity’s tactics
were justified in order to highlight the seriousness of drug abuse and
threw out 28 complaints that it was offensive.
The ASA’s verdict comes just two weeks after another ad in the campaign,
showing a child about to kill himself by stepping off a building, was
named best charity ad at this year’s Campaign Press Awards, winning a
silver award for Bartle Bogle Hegarty.
The ASA has also defended Ford against charges by the Department of
Trade and Industry that the company failed to honour a price pledge.
The DTI took action after a national newspaper ad last year which ran
while car makers were under siege over allegations of ripping off
Young & Rubicam produced the ad which took the form of a message to
current and future Ford customers from Ian McAllister, the company’s
chairman and managing director.
McAllister said that Ford was not planning to reduce prices but, if it
had to do so to remain competitive, it would refund the recommended
retail price maintenance difference to customers buying a new model from
authorised UK Ford dealers.
The DTI claimed that the company had reduced the price of some models
but had refused to reimburse the difference to customers who had bought
them at the original price.
But the ASA said it believed the ad made clear the terms of the promise
and that the company had kept to it.
Meanwhile, Sky TV has promised the ASA that it will review its
procedures for obtaining and clearing pictures for use in its ads after
a complaint from a woman that a photograph of her had been used in a
national press ad without her permission.
The woman said she had been ’upset and embarrassed’ by the ad, produced
by St Luke’s, which featured two elderly ladies talking on a park bench.