ASA scolds British Gas over TV campaign

British Gas has fallen foul of the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) over its “Doing the right thing” TV campaign, which shows various home breakdowns occurring at inconvenient times.

One execution shows a radiator bursting during wedding preparations, followed by a voiceover saying: “We at British Gas are there for you 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.”

The ASA upheld four complaints against the ad, because it misleadingly implies that British Gas engineers are available to carry out repairs at any time of the day or night, all year round. Clemmow Hornby Inge created the ad.

The watchdog has upheld complaints against French Connection over press ads for its fragrance brands “him” and “her”. The ad, in Boots Health & Beauty magazine, showed a picture of a man and woman sitting side by side on a bed in their underwear. The reverse page featured the fragrance bottles and fold-out sections on the side of the page, with the straplines “Open here to try fcuk her” and “Open here to try fcuk him.” According to the retailer, the ad, intended for the US, was run in the UK without its prior knowledge. The ASA ruled that the ad could cause serious or widespread offence and should be pulled.

Complaints about a Pot Noodle radio ad featuring different characters with excited voices have also been upheld. Four listeners complained about the timing and content of the ad, which was felt to be sexually suggestive and unsuitable for broadcast at breakfast time.

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