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Complaint partially upheld about 'Despicable Me' Sky ad

The ASAI also upheld a complaint against Lidl in relation to a competition it ran.

Still from a Sky ad featuring Despicable Me characters
Still from a Sky ad featuring Despicable Me characters
Image: Sky/YouTube

COMPLAINTS THAT SKY Ireland adverts were misleading have been partially upheld by the Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland (ASAI).

One of the adverts was a TV ad for Sky Fibre which featured the character Gru from the Despicable Me films.

The ad said both existing and new customers could avail of “superfast” and “totally unlimited” broadband at the “lowest price ever” (€30/month for 12 months, then €55/month).

A radio advertisement featuring the voice of Baz Ashmawy again advertised Sky Fibre, this time for €39 a month for 12 months.

Similar ads ran online, via leaflets and in print, and six complaints were received about the campaign.

Complainants noted that the offer said it was available to both new and existing customers. However, when they attempted to avail of the offer as existing Sky customers, they were advised that the offer was only available to existing Sky TV customers and that existing Sky Broadband customers could not avail of the offer.

The complainants did not consider that the advertising had clarified this restriction.

One complainant thought the advertising was misleading as they would have to sign up to both a broadband and TV package in order to get the advertised offer. The complainant reviewed the small print of the advertising and noted that it did not refer to the restriction that a TV package was also required to avail of the offer.

Sky Ireland responded to the complaints regarding the television advertisement, stating that an on-screen footnote had clearly indicated the offer was only available to new Sky Broadband customers.

The complaints committee considered the detail of the complaints and noted the advertisers’ action to clarify in future advertising that ‘existing customers’ meant existing TV customers.

The committee noted that the radio advertisements had clearly addressed “Sky TV customers” and had referred either to “upgrade today” or “complete your entertainment experience”. The committee did not consider that the radio advertisements were in breach of the code.

Lidl’s Facebook competition

The ASAI also upheld a complaint against Lidl in relation to a competition it ran.

Lidl Ireland’s Facebook page advertised a contest for a person to win “a year’s free shopping worth over €5,000″.

People were urged to fill in in-store entry cards to be in with a chance of winning.

A woman complained about the competition after the winners were not announced. The ASAI said the woman “emailed the company on three separate occasions to enquire about the results of the competition”.

On the last occasion she was informed that “the competition had closed and the winners were picked and contacted”.

Lidl said the winners’ names were not published due to data protection issues and concerns about theft. The company announced three of the winners on Facebook after receiving their permission.

When making its decision, the committee noted that, while the advertising code provided that promoters “should bear in mind the risk of theft or harassment that may arise if the details given are sufficient to allow the address of a winner of a prize of substantial value to be identified”, it also required that:

Promoters should either publish, or make available on request, details of the name and county of residence of prize-winners.

They noted that, while a list of the winners had been made available to the ASAI, it had not been made available on request. In the circumstances, the committee considered that a breach of Section 5.34 had occurred.

Two other complaints in relation to the competition were not upheld.

Read: Lidl reconsidering plan to build bigger shop on Tallaght site

Read: No one seriously injured after bus crash in Dublin city centre

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Órla Ryan

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