Wednesday, September 11, 2013

UK's ASA approves "all the latest phones" as puffery

I don't read every ASA ruling, but they certainly are informative to an American, representing a much higher degree of scrutiny than US regulators give to ads.  Tesco Mobile Ltd. recently avoided a finding of breach of the advertising code for its use of the claim "You see the thing is you can get all the latest phones and the best customer service of any network."  Although there were in fact hundreds of phones on the market at any time, and Tesco didn't provide them all, it provided the ten most popular, representing about 65% of the market.  While the ruling doesn't use the term "puffery," that's what the rationale sounds like to me: "whilst the claim was clearly intended as one of the marketing messages of the ad, we considered that it was delivered in a casual manner and would not be taken literally by viewers.  We considered that viewers would infer that the most popular phones were available on Tesco Mobile."  I'm not sure I've seen a defense of this type succeed before the ASA before--but as I said, I don't read them all.

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