ASA attacks News Group offer chaos

News Group Newspapers has been carpeted by advertising watchdogs over a chaotic cut-price flights promotion and misleading reader offers.

News Group Newspapers has been carpeted by advertising watchdogs

over a chaotic cut-price flights promotion and misleading reader

offers.



The Advertising Standards Authority has backed complaints about the

offer of a free gold bracelet to News of the World readers and offers in

the Sun involving Spice Girls merchandise and cheap air tickets for

flights to Ireland and Scotland.



The ASA was told that readers missing the cards needed to make phone

bookings for the flights had difficulty getting replacements and that

those trying to make bookings were told seats were no longer

available.



The Sun was also said to have published a table claiming that flights to

Cork were still available the day after they had sold out.



The paper has been warned to take greater care after it claimed on its

front page that a Spice Girls promotion was to start that day, when a

statement inside declared it would start the following day.



The News of the World was reprimanded for offering a ’free gold bracelet

for every reader’ on its front page when it was restricted to one

bracelet per household.



The ASA has also criticised the soft drinks manufacturer, J. N. Nichols,

for an ad that attracted charges of racism for its portrayal of a black

man wearing gold chains with a gun hanging from them.



But it has cleared United Distillers, makers of Gordon’s gin, from

causing distress to recovering alcoholics with a Leo Burnett ad that

showed a gin and tonic while the smell of juniper berries was released

through the cinema’s air conditioning.



At the same time, the ASA has taken the unusual step of banning a poster

criticised for encouraging irresponsible use of over-the-counter drugs

even though it had been pre-vetted and approved by the Proprietary

Association of Great Britain.



The authority censured Roche Consumer Health for the poster for Pro-Plus

which featured a picture of three girls out enjoying themselves and

another asleep.



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