Friday, July 21, 2017

Rutland County Councillor Nick Begy Endorses Product in National Press Advert For his employers The Happy Puzzle Company

Rutland County Councillor Nick Begy Endorses Product in National Press Advert For his employers The Happy Puzzle Company

Is it not a tiny bit misleading for the conservative Councillor and marketing manager to
endorses his own product?

If I did not know the Conservative Councillor I would think from looking at the advert
that this man has purchased the product and gives it a five star rating.

The product advertised is available here, you will need to enter the code from
the advert as it is available on the company site at the higher price.

Marketers must hold documentary evidence that a testimonial or endorsement used in a marketing communication is genuine and hold contact details for the person who, or organisation that, gives it (rule 3.45). Showing that a testimonial is genuine has two elements; showing that the quote is from a real person and that it reflects what they said. Claims within a testimonial must not mislead or be likely to mislead the consumer. Please see “Claims in testimonials and endorsements” for guidance on making claims in testimonials.

Do not pose as a consumer

Marketing communications must not falsely claim or imply that the marketer is acting as a consumer or for purposes outside its trade, business, craft or profession (Rule 2.3). It is a breach of the Code for a marketer to write reviews of their own products whilst posing as a genuine consumer.

Seek permission to use the testimonial

Marketing communications must not feature a testimonial without permission (Rules 3.45 and 3.48). When seeking permission to use a testimonial, marketers should be aware of their obligations under Section 10: Database practice. The ASA has upheld complaints when marketers have not been able to prove they have the author's consent (Conservatory Outlet Ltd, 20 March 2013) and when a testimonial was wrongly attributed to a complainant whose image was used without her consent (Phyto Nature Source, 25 October 2006).
Rule 3.48 allows for some exceptions to the requirement to get permission when making accurate quotes from a published source. Marketers quoting from a published source still need evidence to show that the statements are genuine and accurate (eSmart Media Ltd t/a, 22 January 2014). The ASA ruled that a list of quotes with references to the publications in which they appeared was not sufficient to show that the quotations were from those publications (, 27 March 2013). The ASA ruled against a Spotify ad for the film Taken 2 which quoted “'Eat your heart out 007', says the Daily Star, 'ten out of ten'” because whilst the advertiser had provided an e-mail approving the use of the quote, it did not appear to have come from the same person who had written the published Daily Star review. Furthermore the ASA considered that the average listener would understand “'Eat your heart out 007', says the Daily Star, 'ten out of ten'” to mean that the quote had been made in a published Daily Star review when this was not the case.

Hold documentary evidence

Signed and dated proof is likely to be considered acceptable documentary evidence, however it is not the only form of evidence that the ASA will consider acceptable. For example, where an advertiser was able to provide copies of the e-mails which contained testimonials, the addresses and the ordering history of the customers, the ASA considered sufficient evidence had been provided to demonstrate that the testimonials were genuine (Monark Global Ltd t/a Tru-Diamonds, 11 December 2013). E-mail testimonials from unverifiable addresses (such as hotmail) would not be acceptable in and of themselves although the ASA has accepted testimonials in the form of a provable company e-mail address (de Verde Ltd, 28 August 2013). The ASA considered that a testimonial from an unverifiable web based e-mail address which contained no further contact details was insufficient to demonstrate that the testimonial was genuine and therefore ruled the claim "all testimonials are from actual real customers!" to be misleading (de Verde Ltd, 28 August 2013).