Thursday, 24 March 2011

The Curious Case Of The ICA, The ASA And The PCC

Any day now the April edition of the ICA (Inverness City Advertiser) will plop through your letterbox. My use of the word ‘plop’ is intentional.

When it plops I recommend you post this stinker of a publication back to where it came from.

The magazine has its charms - notably the thoughtful and hilarious column by radio legend Ken Kelman - but it’s also regularly riddled with spelling misteaks, bad grammatification. and not to mention RANDOM capitals and missing/superfluous punctuation mark‘s.

Anyway, it’s a listings magazine so you can imagine my bafflement with the anti-wind farm advert that appeared in the March edition.

It made all sorts of misleading and scary statements - the usual NIMBY numpty nonsense - but didn’t say who had placed the advert. My enquiries through the ASA (Advertising Standards Authority) reveal it was placed there by the magazine, signalling the ICA’s move into editorial territory.

Was this a breach of the advertising code? No, as no money had changed hands. Was it a breach of the press code? Shockingly, no as the ICA doesn’t subscribe to the PCC (Press Complaints Commission) code of conduct.

Not only were the claims misleading, the article itself was as it failed to make clear who had placed it. And what’s more there’s no way of replying to it or contesting it. I wonder how many of the ICA’s advertisers are aware they’re supporting a publication with an agenda.

At least with a newspaper you have to buy it, you know what opinions you’re likely to read and you have a right to reply but when it’s pushed through your door under the guise of an impartial entertainment guide, a line has been overstepped.

In the words of one of the great entertainers: Return to sender. Thank you very much.

No comments:

Post a Comment