NEWS: High Court upholds ASA rulings on Dixons

The Advertising Standards Authority has won a landmark High Court ruling preserving a string of its judgments made earlier this year.

The Advertising Standards Authority has won a landmark High Court ruling

preserving a string of its judgments made earlier this year.



The ruling, which helps restore the ASA’s authority following criticism

about its lack of standing, follows two appeals made to the High Court

by Dixons Stores Group.



At the heart of the dispute were two ASA rulings in May 1995 on national

press ads for the Dixons and Curry’s brands. A competitor made six

complaints, four of which were upheld by the ASA. One leaflet, for

example, claimed ‘Britain’s lowest prices guaranteed’, although the

retailer only offered to match, not beat, competitors’ prices.



Last week, Mr Justice Popplewell dismissed challenges to the rulings,

made an order for costs against Dixons and refused it leave to appeal.



‘It’s sad when these cases do get taken to court but I don’t think

consumers would like it if we were seen to be too close to the

advertisers all the time,’ the ASA’s director of communications,

Caroline Crawford, said. ‘Self-regulation works because we have been

scrupulous about being fair and impartial.’



Dixons now has to consider whether to make an appeal to the European

Court. It might find itself with an unlikely partner. City Trading, the

soft porn video manufacturer that was also involved in an unsuccessful

High Court clash with the ASA, told Campaign it might be prepared to

join in any European appeal.