NEWS: Tories attack the ASA for double standards

The Advertising Standards Authority was embroiled in another party political row this week after dismissing complaints about a Labour Party campaign that accused the Tories of telling lies.

The Advertising Standards Authority was embroiled in another party

political row this week after dismissing complaints about a Labour Party

campaign that accused the Tories of telling lies.



One week after ordering the Tories not to re-run M&C Saatchi’s ad

showing Tony Blair with ‘demon eyes’ (Campaign, last week), the ASA has

rejected protests about BMP DDB’s ‘Same old Tories, same old lies’

counter-offensive.



The authority received five complaints that it was offensive to call the

Tories liars, including one from a local Tory activist who claimed it

was a personal criticism.



The ASA gave the Labour campaign the all-clear on the grounds that it

does not depict any Tory politicians. ‘The claim is a matter of opinion,

rather than an attack on an individual,’ the ASA spokeswoman, Caroline

Crawford, commented. ‘We do not intervene over the factual accuracy of

political ads.’



Tory officials have accused the ASA of double standards. ‘It does look

as though it applied a rather different test to the Labour campaign,’

one source said.



Meanwhile, Labour has accused the Tories of flouting the spirit of last

week’s ruling by reviving the ‘demon eyes’ - without Blair’s face - in

a poster unveiled this Thursday. Using the slogan, ‘New Labour, new

taxes’, it shows the sinister-looking eyes superimposed on to a purse.



The ad, which was written by Jeremy Sinclair and art directed by Martin

Casson, will run on 1,500 poster sites.



At the same time, the ASA has censured the Tories for not disclosing

that a local newspaper ad during the South-east Staffordshire by-

election in April was placed by their election agent.



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