Advertising Standards Authority
1. The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has published guidance on the use of speed claims in adverts for multi-core PC processors. If a computer is advertised as having a 'dual-core' processor, what does it mean and why is it misleading to describe 2 x 3 GHz as 6 GHz?
The ASA has received a number of complaints about this issue recently. Many sellers combine the speeds of two individual processors to give an overall speed which is not actually achievable in practice, thereby potentially misleading consumers. With a dual-core processor, the two processors within the computer work independently of one another and although they enable the computer to multi-task more efficiently, the overall speed of the product is not calculated on the accumulation of those two processors' individual speeds. So, a dual core PC with two 3.00 GHz processors may not be advertised as 6.00 GHz, as this speed is not actually achievable in use.
2. What is 'online behavioural advertising' (OBA)?
OBA is the practice of collecting information from internet browsers so that it can be used to present online advertisements that are more relevant to the user. The ASA oversees the rules, requiring businesses to make it clear when collecting and using information for OBA. The businesses must provide a tool to enable individuals to choose not to see advertising.
3. Advertising for which product is no longer allowed on television, radio, internet, emails etc (since May this year)?
E-cigarettes with liquids containing nicotine are no longer allowed to be advertised on such media.
4. Which body enforces legislation on misleading claims displayed on shop shelves or at till points?
Misleading claims displayed on shop shelves or at till points should be reported to the relevant local authority trading standards service using the Citizens Advice consumer service. The ASA will look into complaints about any leaflets or brochures that can be taken away from a store.
5. There was a lot of concern about charity fundraising in 2015. The ASA regulates advertisements referring to fundraising, but complaints about matters such as doorstep and on–street collections should be addressed to which body?
Complaints about fundraising in general (for example on-street collections) should be addressed to the Fundraising Standards Board (FRSB).
6. Which advertisement on television did the ASA receive the most complaints about in 2015?
The most complained about advertisement was the Money Supermarket promotion featuring a man in shorts and high heels. The complaints were on the basis of taste, and were not upheld.
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