ASA slams Direct Line campaign

The controversial financial services advertiser, Direct Line, has been taken to task over a campaign that challenged rival banks and building societies to match its offerings to customers.

The controversial financial services advertiser, Direct Line, has

been taken to task over a campaign that challenged rival banks and

building societies to match its offerings to customers.



The Advertising Standards Authority questioned the use made of

’independent’ research in the campaign and ruled that the questions were

posed in a way that gave Direct Line an unfair advantage.



The Co-operative Bank and the Nationwide building society were among the

objectors to national press ads produced by Mortimer Whittaker

O’Sullivan to tie in with Direct Line’s TV challenge.



The advertising posed a number of savings and mortgage questions to a

list of named banks and building societies and challenged them to

present their answers in a Direct Line commercial.



A follow-up press ad declared: ’We weren’t the least surprised by the

lack of response to our challenge.’



The ASA backed claims that the questions were loaded in Direct Line’s

favour and called on the company to make itself clearer in future

advertising.



But the ASA has cleared the food manufacturer, Van den Bergh, of bad

taste in a magazine insert showing a close-up of the midriff of a woman

with a packet of Batchelors instant sauce in the pocket of her jeans

with the caption: ’Fancy a quickie?’



However, the authority warned Motrax, a motor-cycle accessories company,

over an ’insulting and offensive’ press ad for a motor-cycle chain

lubricant which featured a naked woman lying with a can of the product

between her breasts above the strapline: ’Mmm, I’d better keep a firm

grip on that.’



At the same time, the ASA has defended Holsten from claims of misleading

young people about sex and making a mockery of sex education after a

BDDP GGT national press ad headlined: ’Don’t worry, I won’t get you

pregnant. You’re Taurus. I’m Aries.’



Scottish & Newcastle has also been defended by the ASA against charges

of encouraging anti-social behaviour with a poster by Faulds Advertising

for Best Scotch Ale. It showed three men drinking beer and carried the

line: ’Billy’s treating his missus tonight. He’s left the central

heating on. I’ll drink to that.’



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Digital marketing executives oversee the online marketing strategy for their organisation. They plan and execute digital (including email) marketing campaigns and design, maintain and supply content for the organisation's website(s).