Monday 5 December 2016

Gym's 12-day weight-loss claim was 'misleading' - ad watchdog

Published 10/07/2015 | 08:23

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A gym that claimed it could help you lose a stone in 12 days has had a complaint against it upheld by the Irish advertising watchdog.

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Educogym's ad boasted "Lose a stone in 12 days! 12-day programme that will turn the clock back".

However, it prompted a man to complain to the Advertising Standards Authority Ireland (ASAI). He said the ad was misleading, as it was unsafe to suggest this weight could be lost in such a short time.

He also felt it was wrong to make promises and raise people's hopes when weight loss is such an emotive subject.

The complaints committee of the ASAI upheld the complaint and Educogym in Cork agreed not to make the claim in future ads.

In another case, Aer Lingus also breached advertising standards with a flights promotion that promised half-price seats. "50pc guaranteed off every seat. Take advantage of this great deal and plan an escape to Ireland from 1 December to 25 March," it read.

But when a man went to book a flight home for his friend from the UK to Ireland for Christmas 2014, he was unable to get the discount.

When he looked at the terms and conditions he discovered that the Christmas period was excluded. He considered the advertising to be misleading.

The ASAI noted that the information in relation to the exclusion of the Christmas period was contained within the body of the email to Irish consumers.

It was, however, only contained in the footnote to UK residents. It upheld the complaint.

In another complaint, a customer who responded to an ad from Marian Pilgrimages, based on Eden Quay in Dublin, said that a map had not indicated that parts of the pilgrimage were in Palestine.

She said that the advertising was misleading because the map of Israel had excluded borders that should have indicated the state of Palestine.

She considered that as part of the pilgrimage was in the Palestine/West Bank area, it was important such borders were featured. She said it was incorrect to indicate that a four-night stopover in Bethlehem was in Israel, when it was part of Palestine. She said the absence of the Palestinian borders from the map was offensive to Palestinians.

The advertisers said the map in question was small and printed as a visual aid only, and had they included borders it would have been illegible.

The ASAI upheld the complaint, ruling that by only including a reference to Israel on the map the advertising could cause offence.

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