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Advertiser: Bauer Media
Medium: Internet (Company Website), Radio
ASAI Code 7th Edition: 2.4(c), 4.1, 4.4, 4.9, 4.10, 5.1, 5.5, 5.16, 5.17
The competition was promoted throughout the day by the presenters of each station within the advertisers’ network.
Jingle - Newstalk's Cash Machine
Presenter – “The cash machine has been reloaded, the number that you need to know is
€11,606.42, that is €11,606.42. If you want to enter you text PLAY and only the word PLAY to 57557, that's 57557. If it’s you we call back after 3pm during Moncreiff, answer your phone within 5 rings, tell us the prize amount and you win the money. The cost is
€2.50 plus your standard message rate to play, you have to be over 18 and you're playing across the Go Loud network of stations. Full terms are on our website Newstalk.com. So that number again, €11,606.42.”
Jingle - Win Big, Newstalk's Cash Machine.
Presenter – “The Cash Machine has given away over €2m so far in 2022. A streak of 6 winners in a row came to a halt yesterday when someone missed out on the chance to win that means that means we have a rollover. If you entered since 5pm on Tuesday, you're still in to win but you must know this huge number €23,544.93, that's €23,544.93. You can text PLAY to enter and only the word PLAY to 57557, that's 57557. If it's you we call back after 3pm answer your phone within 5 rings, tell us the amount and you will win that money. Text the word PLAY to 57557, 57557 costs €2.50 plus your standards message rate. You have to be over 18 to enter, you're playing across the Go Loud Network of stations. Full terms and conditions are on the website, Newstalk.com. Get your entry in before 3pm and we could be calling you, answer within 5 rings, tell us the prize amount and the cash is yours.”
The competition page at the beginning of the competition on the Newstalk website stated:
“Want to win big and get your hands on some amazing prize money?
Tune into Newstalk every day where the Cash Machine’s daily amount will be revealed. You can register by texting the word PLAY to 57557 by 3pm when we could be calling you.
Answer within five rings and tell us the correct daily cash amount and the cash is yours! It’s €2.50 plus your standard message rate. To play you have to be over 18 to enter.
Full terms are available here. (hyperlink)
Recent content on 98FM, another station within the Go Loud Network stated:
“Tune into 98FM all this week to hear the cash amount.
Get your entry in by 3pm on Friday and keep that cash amount somewhere safe because Barry could be calling YOU!
Answer within 5 rings, tell Barry the exact amount in euro and in cent and the cash is yours!
You can enter to win by texting the word CASH to 57557. It's €2.50 to play and you have to be over 18 to enter.
Full terms are available here. (hyperlink)
The terms linked from the website content included the following:
“ITEM 2: PROMOTER
Bauer Media Audio Ireland LP, registered office: Marconi House, Digges Lane, Dublin 2, D02 TD60, Ireland and registered under limited partnership number LP3374 (the “Promoter”)
This is a Go Loud Network Competition, running across the following radio stations: Today FM, Newstalk, 98FM, SPIN 1038 and SPIN South West.”
Four complaints were received about how the competition was promoted. The complainants all raised the following issues:
The complainants considered that it was misleading for the competition to have different names depending on the station it was on, for example, the Newstalk Cash Machine, the Today FM Cash Machine and the 98 FM Cash Machine. They considered that listeners of only one of the stations may not realise that the competition was running across multiple stations, and others, hearing the different names, could think that they were different competitions and enter multiple times.
The complainants objected to the use of the term ‘Giveaway’ by some presenters when referring to recent winners. They said that it was misleading to use the term as the advertisers were not ‘giving’ anything away given that there was a charge to enter.
The advertisers responded to the issues raised by the complainants:
The advertisers said that the competition was run on the Go Loud network of radio stations which was comprised of Newstalk, Today FM, 98 FM, Spin 103FM and SPIN Southwest. They said that the competition had not been advertised as a one station only competition as every time the competition entry details were provided live on air, listeners were informed that it was a competition that was being played across the Go Loud network of stations. They said that they announced this at the entry stage so that listeners were informed and reminded of the pertinent facts that pertained to the competition, including the entry fee, age limit and timings and listeners were directed to the terms and conditions of the competition on each station’s website. They said that the terms and conditions explained in very clear terms that listeners were playing across the Go Loud network of stations and each station was specified.
They said that despite it sounding cumbersome to provide all the information on air each time the entry details were provided to listeners, they felt it was transparent, accurate and as honest as they could be to their listeners. They said that they were satisfied that their listeners were informed that the competition, while branded for each radio station, was being played across the Go Loud network of stations. They said that while the format and structure may not be preferred by the complainants, they did not consider that it was misleading.
The advertisers said that the information provided to listeners regarding the amount of money that had been given away as part of the competition was 100% accurate and true. They said that it was a competition that involved giving away money and that all rules were clearly set out and provided to listeners. They did not consider that it was misleading to say that the competition involved money being given away.
The advertisers provided the Executive with a copy of the current presenter script for the competition.
The Complaints Committee considered the detail of the complaints and the advertisers’ response.
Issue 1: - Not Upheld
The Committee noted that while the competition had been branded for each of the network’s five stations, the on-air promotion for the competition had included the statement that the competition was being run across the ‘Go Loud network of stations’ and had included a reference to terms and conditions which themselves had stated who the promoter was and that the competition was being run across the Go Loud network of stations and listed each station. The Committee, while noting the concerns of the complainants, considered that it was clear from the on-air promotional material and from the terms and conditions that the competition was being run across several stations and did not consider that the advertising was misleading on the grounds raised by the complainants.
Issue 2: - Not Upheld
The Committee noted that the complainants all considered that the use of the term ‘Giveaway’ was misleading as there was a cost to enter the competition which they considered generated the prize funds. The Committee also noted that the promotional material for the competition had included details of how to enter, including what the cost to enter the competition was and that the term ‘Giveaway’ appeared to only have been used when referring to the total amount of prize money that had been awarded to winners to date. The Committee noted the requirements of the Code that a marketing communication should not mislead, or be likely to mislead, by inaccuracy, ambiguity, exaggeration, omission or otherwise (4.1); that advertisers should not exploit the credulity, inexperience or lack of knowledge of consumers; and that the presentation of sales promotions and the associated publicity should not mislead (5.5). The Committee noted the concerns of the complainants; however, they considered that the promotional material had been clear that it was a competition and that there was a cost to enter and that they did not consider that the reference to having given away a specific amount of cash prizes alongside the entry details was misleading. In the circumstances the Committee did not consider that the advertising at Issue 2 was in breach of the Code.
No further action required.