Ofcom orders ITV1 to drop ad in Manchester

Manchester Transport adOfcom has ordered ITV to remove an ad which promotes a public poll being held to gauge opinion about the proposed transport plan for Manchester, which includes the controversial congestion charge. The regulator found that it breached TV ad regulations on political advertising.

Ofcom says it received seven complaints about the ad, which it was already investigating before it was broadcast. The ad was shown on ITV1’s Granada region, which covers the Manchester area.

The ad, based on the proposed transport plan for Greater Manchester, which includes the introduction of congestion charging, was found to breach the Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice’s Television Advertising Code which prohibits political advertising.

The Code prohibits the broadcast of advertisements that may be directed towards a political end; and also prohibits ads that show partiality in respect to matters of political or industrial controversy or relating to current public policy.

The ad featured a presenter in a studio referring to the poll and summarising the consequences of “yes” and “no” outcomes. During the advertisement, a call to action to vote, the name and logo for Greater Manchester Future Transport (GMFT), and its website address were prominently displayed. Complainants argued that the ad was biased to the “yes” vote.

ITV says it broadcast the ad in good faith, having received clearance from Clearcast, the body that advises on advertising scripts and films before production and transmission. However, ITV says it removed the ad from air when it was notified of Ofcom’s investigation.

Latest from Marketing Week

NOT REGISTERED? IT'S FREE, QUICK AND EASY!

Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now

THE BEST CONTENT

Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.

THE BIGGEST ISSUES

From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.

PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3711 or email subscriptions@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here