The television advertising for eVision from eircom featured both adults and children in their home environment shaking their flat screen televisions vigorously. The television screens were active showing that the televisions were plugged in. The voiceover offered the following information.
“People everywhere are shaking up their TVs with eVision from Eircom. Shake up your TV and get over 30 of the channels you love for an incredible €10 a month in a bundle. Sign up today and get it free for the first six months. Shake up your TV for just €10 a month. Switch to eVision today. Call 1800 503 303
The footnote stated:
Subject to availability and 18 month bundle contract. Offers ends 31st March. See eircom.ie for terms.
Eircom Call 1800 503 303. Go in-store Visit eircom.net”
The complainants considered it dangerous practice to shake a television especially one that remained powered on. One complainant considered that the televisions had been shaken in a violent fashion. Two complainants considered that it was an action that children were likely to try and copy, given that a child had participated in the advertising.
The advertisers pointed out that the cast in the advertisement were smiling and enjoying themselves rather than ‘violently’ shaking the TVs. In the creation of the campaign they had assumed that average viewer would understand that the shaking of the television was a visual representation of Irish consumers changing something in their lives, in this case they were “shaking up their TV service” and switching to eVision.
The advertisers said that they had carried out extensive consumer research both prior to and after airing the advertising in question and that at no point had participants described the act of the television being shook as dangerous. The advertisers forwarded copies of their research to the ASAI on a confidential basis.
Complaints not upheld.
The Complaints Committee considered the detail of the complaints and the advertisers’ response. The Committee noted the research provided by the advertisers and considered that viewers would understand the actions were visual representation of switching services rather than a suggestion that they copy the actions. They did not consider that the advertisement condoned dangerous or unsafe practices. In the circumstances the Committee did not uphold the complaints.
No further action was required in this case.