Watchdogs back charity's baby heroin ads

- Advertising watchdogs have refused to back the chorus of protest over a shock ad by Barnardo's showing a baby about to inject heroin.

- Advertising watchdogs have refused to back the chorus of protest over a shock ad by Barnardo's showing a baby about to inject heroin.

Despite the refusal of a number of newspapers to carry the ad, the Advertising Standards Authority has ruled that the charity's tactics were justified in order to highlight the seriousness of drug abuse and threw out 28 complaints that it was offensive.

The ASA's verdict comes just two weeks after another ad in the campaign, showing a child about to kill himself by stepping off a building, was named best charity ad at this year's Campaign Press Awards, winning a silver award for Bartle Bogle Hegarty.

The ASA has also defended Ford against charges by the Department of Trade and Industry that the company failed to honour a price pledge.

The DTI acted after a national newspaper ad which ran as carmakers were under seige over allegations of ripping off British customers.

Young & Rubicam produced the ad which took the form of a message to current and future Ford customers from Ian McAllister, the company's chairman and managing director.

McAllister said that Ford was not planning to reduce prices but, if it had to do so to remain competitive, it would refund the recommended retail price maintenance difference to customers buying a new model from authorised UK Ford dealers.

The DTI claimed the company had reduced the price of some models but had refused to reimburse the difference to customers who had bought them at the original price.

But the ASA said it believed the ad made clear the terms of the promise and that the company had kept to it.

Meanwhile, Sky TV has promised the ASA that it will review its procedures for obtaining and clearing pictures for use in ads after a complaint from a woman that a photograph of her had been used in a national press ad without her permission.

The woman said she had been "upset and embarrassed" by the ad, produced by St Luke's, which featured two elderly ladies talking on a park bench.



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