An ASA complaint

A recent ASA decision:

Complaint:  The Facebook advertisement for Spark streaming television service featured numerous tablets of Whittaker’s chocolate products. A post by the Advertiser stated:

“Tell us which Lightbox show you can’t get enough of to be into win #BingeWatching chocolate goodies …”

Complainant, S. Vernon, said:  “the advertisement encouraged binge-eating sugar-filled foods to a population that is already struggling with its obesity.”

Oh dear. They promoted eating chocolate during binge TV sessions. How evil of Spark.

The took the complaint seriously enough to respond, but not to have a formal ruling. The Chair said:

The Chairman noted the Complainant’s view the advertisement encouraged binge eating. She disagreed.

The Chairman noted Lightbox offered a streaming television service that enabled subscribers to watch continuous advertisement-free programmes, as well as the ability to “binge watch” their favourite television series rather than watch them in weekly episodes on television.

However, the Chairman said there was nothing that suggested the chocolate itself shown in the advertisement should be consumed in one sitting, or binge-eaten. Rather, the Chairman was of the view the chocolate represented the amount that might be consumed over weeks of watching a series in weekly episodes.   

Sad they even have to spell it out!

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