Media: ASA warns on offers

Scottish Media Group and Celtic Football Club are to launch a weekly 60-minute club fanzine programme, The Celtic Park Hour, which will be screened on stadium monitors at Celtic Park football ground before matches. Advertising watchdogs have warned newspaper groups they face legal action if they do not clean up their act with regard to promotional offers.

Scottish Media Group and Celtic Football Club are to launch a

weekly 60-minute club fanzine programme, The Celtic Park Hour, which

will be screened on stadium monitors at Celtic Park football ground

before matches.



The programme will also broadcast on Sky Scottish.



Advertising watchdogs have warned newspaper groups they face legal

action if they do not clean up their act with regard to promotional

offers.



The Advertising Standards Authority this week hit out at newspapers that

flout its guidance notes and continue to mislead consumers by not

printing a promotion’s conditions on their front pages.



Last year, the ASA referred News Group Newspapers and Mirror Group to

the Office of Fair Trading for misleading consumers. This was despite

the introduction of guidance notes on the subject by the Committee of

Advertising Practice, drawn up to help avoid any confusion.



The ASA’s communications director, Caroline Crawford, said some

newspapers are continuing to mislead consumers and are in danger of a

fresh referral.



This month The Sun and The Times have fallen foul of the ASA. The Sun

was rapped for a number of misleading promotions including one that

promised free signed Spice Girls magazines but didn’t actually start the

offer until the next day. Another for a free flights promotion with

Ryanair drew complaints from readers unhappy with the administration of

the offer.



Crawford said: ’When the guidance notes were first introduced, there was

an improvement. But we’ve hit a blip and it’s very disappointing.



We’ll take it up with the Newspaper Publishers Association. If there are

no improvements, we’ll refer certain newspapers to the Office of Fair

Trading and this could result in legal action.’



Commenting on the Ryanair promotion, which attracted 11 complaints,

Ellis Watson, marketing director for News Group newspapers, said: ’As a

proportion of the number who redeemed the promotion, 11 is miniscule.

But when we do promotions of this sort again we will check them out with

even greater attention to detail.’



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