Complaint made about ‘BBC Is Mis-reporting Scotland’ Advan at Pacific Quay

bbcAdvertising Standards Authority: “No action required on BBC Is Mis-reporting Scotland”

Inform Scotland received a communication from the Advertising Standards Authority regarding a complaint made to them about the advan message when it visited the BBC at Pacific Quay.

We cannot confirm it, but it seems probable that the complaint was made by BBC Scotland itself. As we reported at the time, police were also called when the van made it’s visit to Pacific Quay, but left having established there was no cause for them to be there.

Our poster was found by the ASA to be entirely within advertising rules and no further action was required. We are posting the ASA’s findings here in case this is useful for others who may think of pursuing this course as a way of getting the message out there about mainstream media bias, distortion and misrepresentation.

From the Advertising Standards Authority, 71 High Holborn, London WC1:

Dear Sir/Madam,

For your information, the ASA recently received a complaint about your ad.

In this instance, we decided to put the complaint to the ASA Council for consideration, rather than simply using staff delegated responsibility. The complaint was put to the Council with the view that further investigation was not required, which Council have now agreed. We therefore do not require you to take any action on this occasion but wanted to inform you of the outcome. Please find further information below, and more information about the ASA Council here.

A poster ad, which read ‘BBC is mis-reporting Scotland. parked outside the BBC offices in Glasgow.

The complainant objected that the ad was a biased attack on the BBC without substantiation for the claim made.

Council considered that consumers were likely to have understood the claim to be the advertiser’s own personal view of the BBC, which was subjective, was not a statement of fact and open to varied interpretation and which did not direct consumers to a particular course of action. Council regarded that the claim made clear the nature of the advertiser’s views and was unlikely to have misled readers into seeking out more information about them when they otherwise would not have. Council also considered that the claim was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence to consumers in general, and was therefore unlikely to breach the Codes for the reasons suggested.

I’ve told the complainant that we won’t pursue the matter because, on the facts available to us, there doesn’t seem to be a breach of the advertising rules.

BBC – Instead of wasting the time of the police and ASA, why don’t you get on with the day job of providing fair and balanced news output to the people of Scotland??

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