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false advertising

Complaints against Vodafone, Dublin Airport and a psychic healer upheld

In total, the Advertising Standards Agency dealt with 13 complaints last month.

LAST MONTH, THE Advertising Standards Agency of Ireland (ASAI) dealt with 13 complaints about alleged breaches of advertising codes.

The complaints related to honesty or truthfulness, principles and health and beauty. Twelve of the complaints were upheld and one was not.

Ten of the complaints upheld had been made by consumers and most accused the advertisements of being misleading.

Among them was a complaint about ‘psychic healer’ Donald Moore whose advertisement claimed he could help with “asthma arthritis, depression, miscarriage, smoking/weight control, ME tumours, anxiety, emotional upset, vertigo, insomnia, IBS, self harm etc.”

The ASAI said the advertiser failed to respond to the complaint and noted that this was not the first instance of this style of advertising by Moore. It cited a code section that says advertising must not offer any product or treatment for serious or prolonged ailments for for conditions requiring the attention of a registered practitioner.

Terms and conditions

A complaint against Vodafone stated that the customer was not aware that an offer which included a new phone every year would automatically result in a further 24-month contract. Vodafone argued that the advertisement clearly highlighted that each contract was subject to terms and conditions and these included a mention of re-entering a 24-month contract.

However, the ASAI said it that terms and conditions should be clearly linked to from an offer so that they are easily found by customers and upheld the complaint.

Dublin Airport Authority also had to answer for an advertisement it ran offering a free cup of coffee and fast track through security for those booking the short-term car park. The terms and conditions specified that bookings had to be made midweek and online and the ASAI said these factors should have been mentioned in the main copy of the radio advertisement.

Other complaints included one against a dating website over its ‘free’ membership policy, a complaint about an Eircom bundle and one about a Danone Actimel ad which said your immune system needs a healthy breakfast.

A full list of complaints can be found on the ASAI website

Read: Ads in breach: Small print from Three, bad coverage from eMobile, indecency from The Wright Venue>

Read: Kellogg’s agree to axe music from new ad after Kodaline controversy>

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