ASA dismisses BBC’s complaints against ITV in news war

As the BBC and ITV lock horns in the battle for news audiences, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has dismissed complaints made by the Corporation about a series of advertisements for its rival’s news programmes

The BBC had argued that the press ads – which were headlined “Nobody Does News Better” and claimed “ITV News – the top stories; the best reporters; the UK’s favourite newscasters” – made “superiority claims that could not be substantiated”.

However, in its monthly report, the ASA said it did not object to the ads as they were simply “an expression of the advertiser’s opinion”.

In the same report, I Feel Good, the publishing company set up by former Loaded editor James Brown, was asked to drop an advertising campaign for its movie magazine Hotdog, featuring Hollywood actress Cameron Diaz, after the ASA agreed with complainants that the ads were “sexist and offensive”.

The ad showed a front page of the film magazine picturing Diaz with her hand inside her knickers alongside a caption stating “Cameron ‘the pleasure’s all mine’ Diaz interview and poster”.

The ASA also asked Pure Entertainment Games not to repeat an ad created by Mustoe Merriman Herring Levy carrying the strapline “don’t work, play games” after eight people complained it encouraged the misuse of computers at work.

And even British Gas managed to get its knuckles rapped by the ASA, after 30 people complained about a leaflet containing misleading information about the company’s cost-cutting initiatives.

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