ASA bans ‘eco-town’ government campaign

The Advertising Standards Authority has banned a press campaign for the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) consultation because it is misleading.

The advertising regulator found the ad for a proposed “eco-town” in Curborough in Staffordshire breached its “truthfulness” code, because it would only be partly built on brownfield land.

The ad stated: “An eco town near you? Curborough, Staffordshire, where a bid has been made for 5,000 homes on the brownfield of the former Fradley airfield.”

The campaign, led by DCLG Secretary of State Hazel Blears, was part of the department’s first-stage consultation on eco-towns. The department has accepted that the ad was “unintentionally” inaccurate, and that the majority of the proposed site is on a greenfield site and only partly on the former airfield.

Meanwhile, the ASA has rejected complaints against the Department of Health’s anti-smoking campaign that showed children copying their parents, including a young girl using a crayon to mimic her mum smoking. The ASA ruled the ad conveyed an important health message and would have a positive impact in persuading parents to give up smoking.

The watchdog has banned Johnson & Johnson from claiming that its RoC CompleteLife face cream can create a “measurable lift in just eight weeks”. J&J has been advised to seek advice from the CAP Copy Advice team before advertising again.


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