Home > Legal Opinions tagged advertising

  • Police to place anti-piracy warning ads on illegal sites

    Alex Watt

    BBC news reports reports that the City of London Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) are intending to place banner adverts on websites offering content that is believed to be illegal. The initiative makes use of technology provided by Project Sunblock, swapping paid-for advertising with warnings about piracy asking users to close their browser; “When […]

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  • advertising standards agency ruling may hit app industry hard

    Paula Dumbill

    The ASA has ruled that an email advertising the Electronic Arts Ltd app ‘Dungeon Keeper’ as free was misleading. Dungeon Keeper is one of many ‘freemium’ apps. The successful freemium business model allows the app to be used, usually in full, for free, but requires the user to pay to remove limitations. A recent study […]

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  • sobering experience for retailer as ASA bans ad

    Fiona Carter

    Today the ASA considered whether a promotion which showed a hip flask with the words “F**K  MY Liver” was irresponsible. The promoter (Urban Outfitters) may have felt secure using “street language” having last year convinced the ASA that “SORT YOU SH!T OUT FOR 2013 WITH NEW AWESOME EVERYTHING” was (considering their 18—25 year old demographic) unlikely to seriously […]

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  • what is half price? Tesco fined for misleading consumers

    Oliver Sweeney

    Tesco Stores Limited (‘Tesco’) has been prosecuted after admitting it misled customers over whether strawberries on sale were genuinely “half price”. The strawberries had been on sale at £3.99 for a week, then £2.99 for a week, then on ‘special offer’ of £1.99 for 14 weeks. Under the pricing practices guide, the length of the […]

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  • A sticky situation – is this Marmite ad offensive?

    Oliver Sweeney

    The advert, first aired during Coronation Street last night, depicts Marmite jars being “rescued” from the backs of cupboards, in a parody of animal welfare patrol action. The ASA has already received 250 complaints, including that the ad is ‘deeply offensive’ as it ‘trivializes’ the work of both animal welfare charities and child protection agencies. […]

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  • Google pulls global trigger on trademark ad use policy!

    Paula Dumbill

    Google has amended its policy enabling advertisers to choose any trademark term to trigger their advert onto consumers’ screens. In 2008 advertisers needed the owner’s permission to use trademark keywords but in 2010 Google amended its policy allowing retailers unconnected with a trademarked brand to use the trademark in AdWords ads provided they had a loose […]

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  • OFT not so keen on Groupon offers

    Oliver Sweeney

    MyCityDeal Ltd, trading as Groupon, has been suffering poor publicity following an investigation by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT). The OFT found breaches of consumer protection rules in multiple activities. A damning comment from the OFT stated concerns about Groupon’s “pricing, advertising, refunds, unfair terms, and the diligence of its interactions with merchants”… In […]

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  • Choc Tweet beats heat as ASA deems new practice A-OK

    Oliver Sweeney

    A decision by the Advertising Standards Authority is set to open the floodgates for advertisers to use celebrity Twitter accounts as a medium. Mars’ use of celebrity Tweets to plug the candy bar ‘Snickers’ to the public caused quite a stir. Mars paid celebrities to Tweet several teasers to develop an intriguing narrative, the culmination […]

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  • Patent rights for social media

    Declan Cushley

    Yahoo!, in a recent meeting with Facebook, has demanded licensing fees for the use of 10-20 of their patents over technologies including advertising, newsfeed privacy controls, social networking and messaging and website personalisation. Following the recent patent wars in the smartphone and tablet sectors, should their demands not be met by Facebook, veteran Yahoo! would […]

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  • It’s all about how you couch it….

    Sara McNeill

    The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has banned Sofa King’s regional press ad which included the slogan “The Sofa King – Where the Prices are Sofa King Low!” after receiving three complaints. The ASA held the slogan could be “interpreted as derivative of a particular swear word which consumer research had found to be a word […]

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  • Opportunities for street trading and advertising during the Olympics

    Oliver Sweeney

    This week, the application process opened for permits to advertise, or trade in the street, in the vicinity of the London Olympics. The application process is open until 29 February 2012. Specific Regulations, which prohibit unlicensed advertising or street trading, have now been finalised. The law is wide reaching and can catch, for instance, persons […]

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  • Product Placement Hits Coronation Street

    Fiona Carter

    On 14 November 2011 Coronation Street became the first UK prime time show to feature product placement advertising, following a relaxation of TV product placement rules last February. Contrary to the predicted deluge of brands to be thrust onto viewers’ screens, this first product placement in the ITV soap takes the rather mundane form of […]

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  • Ban on selling cigarettes from vending machines

    Fiona Carter

    On 1 October 2011 a ban came in to force on the sale of tobacco products from vending machines in England. Displays of tobacco advertisements on vending machines are also banned. A person found guilty of selling tobacco from a vending machine will face prosecution, and if convicted in the Magistrates court could be ordered […]

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  • Interflora and Marks & Spencer keyword battle

    Sara McNeill

    The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has given its preliminary ruling on the the questions referred to it by MR Justice Arnold concerning the use of a competitor’s trade mark as a keyword. The ECJ ruled (amongst other points): a trade mark proprietor can prevent a competitor from using a keyword identical to their own […]

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  • Pretty woman or digital manipulation?

    Dmitrije Sirovica

    The cosmetic giant L’Oreal has been ordered by the Advertising Standards Authority to stop using pictures of Julia Roberts and model Christy Turlington upholding a complaint that the images were overly airbrushed. The complaint came from Lib Dem MP Jo Swinson, a long standing campaigner against unrealistic images of women in advertising. Swinson is claiming […]

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  • New complaints website to be set up for child sexualisation

    Laura Richards

    A new website to help parents complain about the commercialisation and sexualisation of children is to be set up and is among the recommendations of a review carried out by Reg Bailey of the Mothers’ Union. The proposed changes in the report include ideas to make it easier to block adult content on mobile phones […]

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  • Fighting over flowers…

    Alex Kynoch

    M&S has purchased ‘interflora’ as an adword (a Google search for Interflora now displays an advertising link to M&S’ flower delivery service). Does M&S’ use of the word infringe Interflora’s trade mark rights? The Advocate General has now provided an opinion in the case of Interflora v Marks & Spencer stating that a trade mark […]

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  • Tesco scores a PR own goal in price war

    Oliver Sweeney

    In a response to Asda’s Price Guarantee promotion, Tesco’s PriceCheck scheme promised to refund shoppers double the difference, if they could show that the products they bought at Tesco were on sale for less in Asda. However Tesco has now changed the offer to limit refund vouchers to a maximum of £20 per shop. The […]

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  • 2012 Olympics: consultation on proposed advertising and trading re...

    Sara McNeill

    Last week, the UK, Scottish and Welsh Governments published a joint consultation on their proposed regulations for restricting advertising and trading in open places during the 2012 Games. The London Olympic Games and Paralympic Games Act 2006 (“Act”) provides for regulations to be created in relation to the control of advertising and trading to help […]

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  • Kingspan v Rockwool – Use caution when playing with fire!

    Declan Cushley

    The High Court recently ruled that a series of advertisements were misleading and infringed the Claimant’s trade marks. The Defendant, Rockwool, manufactures insulation panels used in construction. They carried out an advertising campaign, comparing their product with that of their competitor, Kingspan, using fire tests to demonstrate the combustibility of the goods. Kingspan argued that […]

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