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Product: Publishing (Newspaper)
Advertiser: The Sunday Business Post
ASAI Code 7th Edition: 2.4(c), 3.17
The radio advertisement stated the following:
“It's the newspaper that has tackled vulture funds, challenged big pharma and exposed tax avoidance by some of the world's biggest companies. Its young and dynamic team of journalists change laws, shape debate and write the stories that matter.
Think you know The Sunday Business Post? Think again.
The Sunday Business Post - independent journalism on Sunday.”
The complainant considered the advertising to be ageist and discriminatory under current legislation on the grounds of age. She considered that the description ‘our young and dynamic team of journalists’ implied that the advertisers only employ younger people and that older people were not dynamic. She stated that she was disgusted by the advertisement
The advertisers said that the advertisement in question was brought to the attention of their Interim Editor in the first weeks of his appointment in the early part of 2019 and that it was removed at that time, following reader notification.
When asked to comment on the complainant’s concerns, the advertisers said that had nothing further to add to their initial response.
Complaint upheld in part.
The Complaints Committee considered the detail of the complaint and the advertisers’ response. They noted the advertisement in question had been removed following the receipt of a reader complaint. They also noted that the advertisers did not provide any comments on the complainant’s concerns. The Committee also noted the absence of any information being volunteered on the age profile of incumbent journalists by way of a potential substantiation for the ad claim.
The Committee considered that the two adjectives ‘young’ and ‘dynamic’ used in conjunction with one another were open to interpretation and considered, on balance, were mutually exclusive in the context of the advertisement.
The Committee noted the Code requirement that marketing communications should avoid causing offence on a number of grounds including age. They considered that it was likely that the reference to age would reasonably give rise to offence and on that basis, was in breach of section 3.17 of the Code
No further action in relation to the advertisement as it has been withdrawn. The Committee reminded the advertisers that marketing communications should respect the dignity of all persons and should avoid causing offence on grounds of age.