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Product: Health & Beauty (Hearing Aids)
ASAI Code 7th Edition: 3.16, 3.17, 3.19
A radio advertisement for Specsavers hearing aids featured a woman who was wearing hearing aids singing flatly along to the song ‘Dancing in the Moonlight’.
The voiceover stated:
“Since she got free hearing aids with her PRSI at Specsavers, Roisin is a changed woman. Music has never sounded better. And that makes her dance. And dance and dance. Her singing, though, (clears throat) well …
Free hearing aids with PRSI at Specsavers. Music to your ears. Find out more online. Terms and conditions apply.”
The complainant considered that the advertisement was offensive as they said that it had featured a woman singing in a Deaf Voice who was being mocked. The complainant, a teacher of the deaf, said that they had witnessed children being bullied for speaking in deaf tones and they therefore considered that the advertisement exposed deaf people to ridicule and embarrassment.
The advertisers said that, as with any of their advertising, their intention had not been to offend with the advertisement. They said that as a responsible advertiser, this was something they would never choose to do to their own customers. The advertisers said that the notion behind the advertisement was around out of tune singing and was not to infer that the voice was someone with a speech impediment caused by hearing loss.
Complaint Not Upheld
The Complaints Committee considered the detail of the complaint and the advertisers’ response. Whilst noting the complaint, the Committee observed that the voiceover had stated that “music has never sounded better”. They considered this indicated that the woman could hear music before receiving the hearing aids. In addition, they also considered that the woman featured in the advertisement was in fact singing out of tune. In the circumstances the Committee did not consider that the advertising was in breach of the Code.
Action Required: No further action required.