NEWS: ASA backs celebrities in action against Rank Xerox ad

Alan Whicker and Trevor McDonald have been vindicated by the Advertising Standards Authority after they protested about a Rank Xerox press ad which ran their photographs without their prior permission or knowledge.

Alan Whicker and Trevor McDonald have been vindicated by the Advertising

Standards Authority after they protested about a Rank Xerox press ad

which ran their photographs without their prior permission or knowledge.



After a dispute lasting six months, the ASA has ruled that Rank Xerox

and its agency, Wunderman Cato Johnson, implied the two broadcasters

were endorsing its printing and copying products and asked for the

campaign to be withdrawn.



The ASA also ruled that the advertiser should have sought permission,

given the implied endorsement. The ruling indicates that copyright

legislation governing the use of celebrities’ photos in ads should be

tightened.



In its defence, Rank Xerox argued that the ads did not imply endorsement

because they were ‘of a journalistic nature, and not staged’ by the

personalities.



The use of McDonald’s photograph was particularly contentious because

under the terms of his contract with ITN he is not allowed to endorse

products. ITN and McDonald are currently in legal negotiations about the

episode.



Meanwhile, Whicker was not paid for this campaign, although Rank Xerox

did offer McDonald a nominal sum after he complained about the ad.

McDonald declined the offer.



Complaints not upheld in this month’s report included 70 against Playboy

Television’s launch campaign, by Saatchi and Saatchi. Its ‘morgasms’

poster was accused of being offensive, particularly in a medium seen by

children. The ASA ruled the ad to be neither likely to cause serious or

widespread offence, or be harmful to children.



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