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Ad watchdog warns Argos, Newstalk and Vodafone





A radio station using bad language, a shop offering half-price discounts on products that were not for sale, and a phone company that offered endless calls and data when there was a limit have all fallen foul of the advertising watchdog after complaints from the public.

In the latest list of complaints upheld by the Advertising Standards Authority of Ireland (ASAI), Newstalk radio station was told not to use an outdoor billboard with the slogan 'Take The Bullsh****rs By The Horns' again.

The ASAI received numerous complaints about the ad. Some claimed it was coarse, vulgar and offensive, while others said it was not appropriate for use where children might see it.

Newstalk argued that the ad was targeted at a 25-55 age group, but the ASAI upheld the complaints - saying that, while it might be acceptable in a more targeted media, it did not consider it acceptable for outdoor advertising.

Meanwhile, Argos was told to amend its websites in a timely fashion when one customer complained that a computer trolley she wanted to buy in a half-price offer had never been available in Irish stores.

Argos told the ASAI that they had stopped offering six products mentioned by the complainant at an earlier stage to the advertising campaign and they had been removed from its UK website. But it said it appeared to be the case that they had not been removed from the Irish website and that Irish customers were receiving "out of date information".


Vodafone came in for criticism after an offer on its website for SIM-only plans advertised 'plans with endless calls and data'. A complainant to the ASAI said when he followed the link he discovered there was a limit of 2GB on the plan he viewed.

He deemed the ad to be misleading, but Vodafone argued that they described the plans as 'endless' because, for most of its customers, this was sufficient data given that the plans were for a short term and offered flexible data options.

The ASAI upheld the complaint saying the term 'endless' was a claim of 'unlimited' use, and they should not use term 'endless' again unless evidence is provided to back up the claim.