UK: Retailer criticized for exposing minors to spirits commercial on YoutubeThe British Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has criticized spirits producer Morrisons, for showing their advertisement on Youtube during a series of children’s nursery rhymes. No penalty was given to Morrisons, but the company was told to ensure its ads were “appropriately targeted in future”.

The ASA criticism followed on a complaint by a viewer who expressed that it was irresponsible to show the ad during a video that was targeted at young children. In its defence Morrisons claimed that the ad was approved by the pre-vetting agency Clearcast because the ad in question was also to appear on TV. According to Morrisons restrictions on the broadcast of the ad as applied by Clearcast were supplied to the organization who put the ad online, they were apparently not followed.

Youtube reacted that they have filters in place to ensure that alcohol content is not shown around content aimed at children, but also said that things can slip through this filter if users log in with an account that is registered to an adult to watch content aimed at children.

The ASA concluded that both Morrisons and Youtube had implemented processes to prevent ads for alcohol are shown to children. “However, we considered that the Youtube video in question was very unlikely to be viewed by an adult unless they were watching with a young child. (…) We concluded that although Morrisons had taken reasonable steps to ensure that the ad was targeted responsibly, it had not been targeted responsibly and therefore the ad breached the code.”

Source: 04/16/14

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