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Dublin: 9°C Saturday 27 February 2021

1916 exhibition should have alluded to Hunger Strike section, says advert regulator

The ASAI ruled that this advertisement should not be used in the same format again.

.  A member of the public lo Source: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland

A REGULATOR HAS upheld complaints that advertisements around a 1916 exhibition organised by Sinn Féin were in breach of standards for not clarifying that it would include a section on the 1980s hunger strikes.

Complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland (ASAI) said that they were surprised to find a section on the 1980-1981 H-Block Hunger Strikers, as this part of the exhibition had not been referenced in the advertising material.

They considered that it was inappropriate to link those who fought in 1916 with the hunger strikers of the 1980s and misleading to disclude it from the advertisement.

The adverts were carried on Ticketmaster.ie and in two print publications.

Three complaints were also received saying attendees had no prior indication that the exhibition had been organised by Sinn Féin or that a political party would benefit from its profits.

These complaints weren’t upheld by the ASAI, who said that the party did not financially benefit, and that there was no obligation for all involved in the exhibition to be identified in third party advertising.

The adverts

The press advertisement, which was accompanied by pictures of some of the Leaders of the 1916 Rising and the tricolour, referred to the following:

Once in a Lifetime Opportunity Already seen by over 40,000 people
Revolution 1916
Original & Authentic Exhibition
Ambassador Theatre O’Connell Street…

The advertisement said that the exhibition would feature “a collection of 1916 artefacts, with over 500 items on display”, including an original 1916 Proclamation, uniforms from the Irish Volunteers, Cumann na mBan and na Fianna, and weapons from 1916. No mention was made of the Hunger Strikes exhibition.

In their response to the complaints, advertisers said that the press release was not meant to be the definitive guide to the contents of the exhibition, “but its purpose had been rather to whet the appetite and consumers were then invited to visit www.revolution1916.ie to access further information on the exhibition”.

Despite this, the Committee considered that if the advertisers were using, or referencing specific events from modern day history, that this should have been referenced in the main copy of the advertising.

This should have been done “to allow those interested in attending the exhibition to make an informed choice as to whether or not they wished to do so”.

It concluded that this advertisement should not be used in the same format again.

The ASAI is financed by the advertising industry and committed, in the public interest, to “promoting the highest standards of marketing communications”, ensuring that they are “legal, decent, honest and truthful”.

Read: Sprite ad saying “she’s seen more ceilings than Michelangelo” ruled sexually exploitative

Read: Strike latest: GRA negotiators have been called back to the Labour Court

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