ASA silences digital radio ad

LONDON - An ad promoting the benefits of digital radio has been banned by the Advertising Standards Authority for giving the "misleading" impression that listeners would never experience any interruption to a DAB signal.

ASA: bans digital radio ad
ASA: bans digital radio ad

The radio ad from the Digital Radio Development Bureau, created by Elvis, featured a voiceover explaining how interference occurred on analogue, compared to that of digital radio.

In the ad, the voiceover is interrupted on numerous occasions in an attempt to reflect the current shortfalls of analogue.

The voiceover adds "... but with a DAB Radio you can enjoy crisp, clear digital sound. To find out more and discover loads more stations visit getdigitalradio.com. Prices start from £24.99. Digital Radio, get more from your radio".

The radio promotion received three complaints from the public on the grounds who believed it was misleading because if the digital radio signal was poor, future broadcasts would still be interrupted.

The Radio Advertising Clearance Centre has concluded the ad compared analogue radio sound quality with digital radio sound quality in a general way, but did not claim or imply that all sound degradation was eliminated in all circumstances with digital radio.

However, the ASA judged that the ad gave the misleading impression that listeners would never experience any interruption to a DAB signal, although this is not the case. The ad therefore is banned from future use in its current form.

Ironically, the ban comes in the same week that the Lords Communications Committee warned of a consumer backlash to the planned digital radio switchover in 2015 calling on the government to address "public confusion and industry uncertainty".

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