Currys PC World ad for 4K not OK, rules ad watchdog

Currys PC World has been rapped by the Advertising Standards Authority for a TV ad that gave a false impression that live Euro 2016 matches could be watched in ultra high-definition 4K resolution.

The ad, created by Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO and shown during the tournament in June and July, featured a voiceover that said: "We know some people will do whatever it takes to watch the football on the right TV. Whether it's this big screen 4K-ready Smart LG for just £549 or this new 49-inch 4K-ready Panasonic at an amazing £649. The 55-inch is just £200 more."

The voiceover continued: "And only 'til Wednesday, buy any TV for £699 or over, and with Cash For Goals get £10 for every goal your chosen team scores. So decide on the TV, then where your loyalties lie."

The two models of TV were shown playing footage of a football match, while one displayed the text "Cash for goals", with the O in goals replaced by a rotating football featuring the flags of countries taking part in Euro 2016.

Currys PC World told the ASA that at no point did the ad state that Euro 2016 matches – or in fact, any football matches – could be watched in 4K. The football footage shown in the ad was not from real matches, it said.

It also said the offer mentioned was not limited to 4K TVs, and that the LG and Panasonic models featured were not eligible for it anyway, as they were priced below £699.

But the ASA found that the phrase "the right TV" was likely to be interpreted by viewers as referring to the features of the TVs being shown, specifically the screen size and picture quality.

The watchdog also said that given the cash for goals promotion, and the use of a European flag graphic, viewers would take "the football" to mean Euro 2016. These two factors in combination meant viewers were likely to understand that they would be able to watch Euro 2016 in 4K.

It ruled that the ad breached the BCAP Code for misleading advertising and ordered that it should not be shown again in its current form.

The highest scorers side in Euro 2016 were runners up France, with 13 goals – meaning customers taking advantage of the cash for goals offer who picked the host nation were in line to win £130.

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