ASA slams anti-paedophile website ad over ‘porn link’

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has upheld a complaint against a radio ad by the Home Office and Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) which inadvertently led listeners to a website with links to pornography.

The ad, broadcast earlier this year, promoted the website thinkuknow.co.uk. The site warns against the dangers of paedophiles and provides information on how children can stay safe online. A voiceover said: “Giving out personal info could let a paedophile track you down. Be smart online, be safe offline. Visit thinkuknow.co.uk.”

The complainant says that when she visited the site, which she thought was spelt “thinkyouknow.co.uk”, she found links to adult websites which included pornography.

CEOP said it took over responsibility for the campaign from the Home Office, and had no involvement with the ad. It added it was aware of the potential for misspelling the Web address if promoting it in audio.

The ASA has ruled the ad should not be broadcast again in its current form and care should be taken to ensure listeners are aware of the spelling of the Web address.

The ASA has also upheld 19 complaints against a Kellogg TV ad that claimed Corn Flakes makes children “9% more alert”.
In the ad, a voiceover said: “When they eat a cereal like ours, kids are on average 9% more alert. See if you can spot the difference with Kellogg’s Corn Flakes.”

Kellogg said the claims were scientifically supported but the ASA disputed this, having sought independent analysis. The ASA ruled the execution must not be broadcast again.

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