The ASA has today published a ruling which changes our policy when dealing with magazine collections.
In the past Clearcast has made a distinction between partworks and magazines that come with standalone items. Partworks are publications which come with items that all need to be collected to be of use – a collection of pieces that can be assembled to create a programmable robot, for example. Clearcast has always required that the number of issues needed to complete a partworks collection be stated in ads. For magazines that come with standalone items however, we have up to now not required the total number of issues in the collection to be stated because the item is functional on its own.
The ASA’s ruling against De Agostini changes this. The collection being advertised was for Zippo lighters – standalone items that consumers could collect one, some or all of and still use. The ASA has nevertheless ruled that the total number of issues should have been stated, as well as the cost of all issues. This means that in future this information will need to be included for all such collections, not just partworks.
How to present the information
The price and total number of issues will need to be stated in the ad, but it is up to you how that information is presented. The ASA has not stipulated that it must be in the voice-over; if you choose to include it in superimposed text make sure to check the duration of hold and size. We’ve got a number of tools to help get that sorted over on our Knowledge Base. We will, of course, work with agencies to ensure compliance with the ASA ruling for all future ads.
The ASA publishes rulings every Wednesday – it’s always worth checking for any decisions that may have an impact on your ads. Our training courses are regularly updated to include Code changes and new precedents, and you can also follow us on Twitter to keep abreast of the latest industry news.