[I received the following letter from the Advertising Standards Authority in June, a time when I wasn’t particularly happy – I was living on dwindling savings, struggling to find a job and trying to deal with a situation which I now refer to as ‘The Collapse’.
I complained to the ASA because I genuinely believed I was in the right and I felt that this one small victory, though trivial, could turn my life around. I didn’t win; I lost, and this reply arrived on what was an extremely tough and painful day for me. I eventually discovered that the best way to turn your life around isn’t to procrastinate by writing letters of complaint.]
Dear Mr Dryburgh,
Thank you for taking the time to contact us. I am sorry that this advertising has caused you concern.
The Advertising Standards Authority can intervene if an advertisement breaches the Advertising Standards Code by, for example, risking causing significant harm, causing widespread offence or being materially misleading. Unfortunately in this case we do not feel that there has been such a breach and will not be taking any action.
We have reviewed the advertisement with your comments in mind but do not feel that viewers are likely to be misled to their detriment by it.
The advertisement states “What is iPad? iPad is thin. iPad is beautiful. iPad goes anywhere and lasts all day. There’s no right way or wrong way. It’s amazingly powerful. It’s magical. You already know how to use it. It’s nearly 200,000 apps and counting. A world of websites in your hands. It’s video, photos, more books than you can read in a lifetime. It’s already a revolution and it’s only just begun.”
We felt that viewers would understand the term ‘magical’ in this context to simply be describing the impressive technological capabilities of the iPad. Whilst I understand that you object to the way in which the word ‘magical’ is being used here, it is not up to the ASA to ensure the ‘correct’ use of words or define their meaning. We can only intervene where we feel consumers may be misled.
I am sorry if this conclusion disappoints you.
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