ASA raps Scotland's panda 'gift' claim
By Loulla-Mae Eleftheriou-Smith, campaignlive.co.uk, Wednesday, 11 April 2012 10:19AM
The Scottish Government has been banned by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) from running an ad that celebrates the arrival of two giant pandas at Edinburgh zoo, because it implied the animals were a free gift.
The regional press ad, created in-house, ran as a piece of advertorial with the headline, "Celebration of links between Scotland and China as pandas arrive in Edinburgh."
Above the headline, the ad stated that the column was sponsored by Natural Scotland, however, the following text in the column claimed China was "gifting" the pandas to Scotland.
Further text read: "The pandas' presence in Scotland is a sign of a strengthened alliance with China, and opens up new opportunities in trade, culture and education with the world's fastest growing economy".
Animal Concern and Scotland for Animals said the ad was misleading as it claimed the pandas were a gift from China, when in fact the pandas had been leased to the Scottish Government at a "substantial cost".
The pandas themselves have generated a wave of publicity. Unilever's grooming brand Lynx sponsored the panda mating programme at Edinburgh Zoo as part of its "Unleash the chaos" campaign for Lynx Attract.
The Scottish Government countered that the two pandas had been leased from China at no cost. They admitted, however, that the charity that owns Edinburgh Zoo would pay an agreed annual sum to the Chinese Wildlife Conservation Association.
The Scottish Government said this was not a payment for the two pandas but a contribution to global efforts to ensure the survival of one of the world's most endangered species.
The ASA ruled against the Scottish Government. The watchdog said it recognised that consumers could see the payments as part of a commercial agreement, though the money was not coming from the Scottish Government.
The ASA said: "In the absence of text stating that the 'gift' was in exchange for a substantial payment [it] implied that the pandas were provided by China for free."
Follow Loulla-Mae Eleftheriou-Smith on Twitter @LoullaMae_ES
This article was first published on campaignlive.co.uk
- Digital Designer 20-35k London - Advertising Tech Company Creative Recruitment £20000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits, London
- senior account director > RETAIL > GLOBAL AGENCY collectivo Salary confidential, London
- social media account manager > DRINKS BRAND collectivo to £25-30k + amazing bens, London
- Press Investment Senior Exec Aspire £25000.00 - £34000.00 per annum, London
- Group Marketing Manager - Leading Media Business ADLIB £30000 - £40000 per annum, Bath
- ZenithOptimedia loses £200m O2 business to Havas Media without a pitch
- Doctor Who online game gets kids coding
- Philips launches juicer video campaign with Louis Smith
- Currys PC World launches brand campaign ahead of Christmas
- Argos releases second ad in its latest strategy
- A JWT tribute to its Oxo mum: Lynda Bellingham