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Subject: UKNM: RE: AOL Advertising
From: JR JR
Date: Tue, 29 Dec 1998 11:53:01 GMT

Stef said:

>Am I the only person who finds AOL's new spate of TV ads *just* *a
>little* misleading?
>Only seen it once, but it ends with a voiceover saying "It's Free!"
>which is clearly a lie. feeling the pressure of freeserve perhaps?
>is this acceptable advertising?

Replete with Christmas fare, I have just seen a 10 sec cutdown of the ad
which claims that AOL is "Number 1".

"Free" and "Number 1" are in my mind probably misleading - although i am
sure AOL can back these claims up (and note - they would have *had* to
to get these TV ads approved by the BACC - three years of my life were
partly spent doing this!), I think we could all produce contradictory
evidence to the fact that FreeServe is larger than AOL or that AOL is
not technically free for anything post the first month trial (as Tech
support is only free if you pay the monthly fee!!)

If you feel this issue is worthy of further debate, the correct channel
to follow would be to contact the Advertising Standards Authority (not
the ITC or BACC). Their website is at http://www.asa.org.uk/ and the
course of action would be as follows (taken from their site)

How do I complain?


The Authority wants to deal quickly with complaints, so the more
information that is provided, the better. Write to the ASA with the
following information:

the name of the advertiser

details of when and where the advertisement appeared

a description of what you consider to be wrong with the advertisement

Write to:

The Advertising Standards Authority
Complaints Dept
2 Torrington Place
London WC1E 7HW

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