Complaint: 13/218

Vodafone New Zealand Herald Website

Details

Complainants
C. Pinkney
advertisers
Vodafone
Year
2013
Media
Digital Marketing
Product
Telecommunications
Clauses
Decision
Not Upheld
ASA Links
Website Listing
Decision Document

Document

COMPLAINT NUMBER
13/218
COMPLAINANT
C. Pinkney
ADVERTISER
Vodafone New Zealand
ADVERTISEMENT
Vodafone New Zealand Herald Website
DATE OF MEETING
9 July 2013
OUTCOME
No Upheld



SUMMARY

The advertisement for Vodafone New Zealand found on the New Zealand Herald website included a competition in which a consumer could participate to win a cell phone from Vodafone. To enter the competition, a consumer was required to click their computer mouse on a fast moving animated cell phone and "catch" it. Text in the advertisement read:

"If you catch me, I could be yours. Free.
Terms and conditions apply."

The Complainant said the advertisement was misleading as he was unable to "catch" the animated phone despite clicking on the animation, and when the Complainant selected the "buy now" option, they were unable to locate the terms and conditions.

The Complaints Board noted the Advertiser's analysis that the Complainant may not have clicked the graphic squarely in the centre of the animation, allowing them to enter the competition, or there may have been a technical problem.

While the Complaints Board noted the Complainant's frustration with regard to the competition, it said the advertisement was not misleading and did not reach the threshold to breach the Code of Ethics.

[No further action required]

Please note this headnote does not form part of the Decision.



COMPLAINTS BOARD DECISION

The Chairman directed the Complaints Board to consider the advertisement with reference to Basic Principle 4 and Rule 2 of the Code of Ethics. This required the Complaints Board to consider whether or not the advertisement contained anything which, either directly or by implication, was likely to deceive or mislead the consumer and if it had been prepared with a due sense of social responsibility to consumers and to society.

The Complaints Board noted the Complainant's view that the advertisement was misleading as they were unable to "catch" the animated phone despite clicking on the animation, and when the Complainant selected the "buy now" option, they were unable to locate the terms and conditions.

Turning to the response from the Advertiser, the Complaints Board noted that 1356 people had entered the competition, and 10 had in fact won cell phones. The Complaints Board accepted the Advertiser's analysis that the Complainant may not have clicked the graphic squarely in the centre of the animation, allowing them to enter the competition.

Regarding the Complainant's issue of not being able to access the terms and conditions, the Complaints Board noted the page to which the Complainant was directed read "product not found". The Complaints Board considered the presence of this page to be a technical issue with service delivery, and did not affect whether or not the advertisement was misleading. It did however, note the importance of having the terms and conditions for all promotions readily available for consumers to access.

Therefore, the Complaints Board found that the advertisement did not reach the threshold to be likely to deceive or mislead the consumer or breach the requirement to observe a due sense of social responsibility and ruled the advertisement was not in breach of Basic Principle 4 and Rule 2 of the Code of Ethics.
Accordingly, the Complaints Board ruled to Not Uphold the complaint.



DESCRIPTION OF ADVERTISEMENT

The advertisement for Vodafone New Zealand featured on the New Zealand Herald website included a competition in which a consumer could participate to win a cell phone from Vodafone. To enter the competition, a consumer was required to click their mouse on a fast moving animated cell phone and "catch" it. Test in the advertisement read:

"If you catch me, I could be yours. Free.
Terms and conditions apply."


COMPLAINT FROM C. PINKNEY

The ad is misleading.
This ad claims "If you catch me, I could be yours free ..Terms and conditions apply" The phone then zooms out says "ready...GO" From there the phone zips in and around the box the ad is in. Despite clicking the phone several times the ad leads to nothing. After many times of clicking this phone text appears saying "THAT WASNT 4G FAST" and changes to an ad for the phone with the only two links as "BUY NOW" or "REPLAY"

If you click replay it simply does the same actions again and moves the phone around in the exact same locations - despite clicking (Catching) it you don't win anything.

If you click BUY NOW (I thought this would be a good idea to find terms and conditions of this competition) it leads to a page on Vodafone saying product not found (screenshot attached).

This ad has given the impression there is a chance of winning a free phone and that there are terms and conditions but no way of finding these. I feel annoyed that despite "Catching" the phone I did not win one for free and it was simply a gimmick to make you go buy one. I would be interested to see if anyone has a chance of winning a phone as it seems fraudulent.

This ad appeared at 7.30am on 8th May 2013

RELEVANT CODE

Code of Ethics

Basic Principle 4: All advertisements should be prepared with a due sense of social responsibility to consumers and to society.

Rule 2: Truthful Presentation - Advertisements should not contain any statement or visual presentation or create an overall impression which directly or by implication, omission, ambiguity or exaggerated claim is misleading or deceptive, is likely to deceive or mislead the consumer, makes false and misleading representation, abuses the trust of the consumer or exploits his/her lack of experience or knowledge. (Obvious hyperbole, identifiable as such, is not considered to be misleading).

RESPONSE FROM ADVERTISER, VODAFONE NEW ZEALAND LIMITED

Thank you for your 6 June 2013 letter inviting our comments on C. Pinkney's complaint.

Our advertising agency Draft FCB created and placed the advertisement on our instructions, and has no additional comments.

The competition which frustrated the complainant ran from 8 to 28 May. During that time 1356 people managed to click on the phone and enter the draw, with 10 of them winning phones.

It may be that despite the several attempts he made, the complainant did not squarely click the centre of the phone. Or there may have been a technical issue (perhaps caused by the browser/version of flash installed/internet connection (or a combination of these factors) which prevented him from accessing the entry form. We successfully tested the competition across a range of browsers before launch, but it would have been impossible for us to design a competions all users could access, as we have no control over the way they set up their browsers.

To assist the Board with the complaint we attach feedback to our FaceBook page from the very few users who shared with us their frustration at our competition, along with our Social Media team's response. We should like to emphasise, however, that there were no other complaints - we attach the feedback in its entirety, not a sample from it.

We are happy to assist with any further queries.

RESPONSE FROM MEDIA, APN NZ MEDIA

Please see below our response to the complaint received regarding the Vodafone ad which ran on the nzherald.co.nz homepage on 8th May.

This ad was booked by PHDiQ and the creative was supplied by DraftFCB. We accepted this ad in good faith and ran the ad as instructed by PHDiQ. Our understanding was that PHDiQ had tested the clickTags and Tracking URL's prior to the campaign going live.

Our trafficking team loaded the creative on to nzherald.co.nz and tested the ad before putting it live. We found no issues with the URL supplied at the time of testing, and several of our staff were able to catch the phone and subsequently enter the draw.