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ASA Adjudication on Hotel California

Hotel California

2 New Chester Road
Tranmere
Wirral
CH41 9AY

Date:

9 April 2008

Media:

Regional press

Sector:

Leisure

Number of complaints:

1

Complaint Ref:

48786

Ad

An ad in the Wirral Globe, for live music at The Hotel California music venue. Text stated "The Hotel California Wirral's Premier Live Music venue ... Friday 11th JON DOE and the FUCK UPS ...".

Issue

Liverpool Trading Standards objected that the ad was offensive.

CAP Code (Edition 11)

Response

Hotel California (HC) did not respond to our enquiries.

The Wirral Globe said the advertising had appeared as a result of HC changing their design house and failing to omit or encrypt any offensive wording as they had previously agreed. They said it was against their policy to carry any such offensive wording and that additional precautionary measures had been put in place as a result of the ad appearing. They said they had received one complaint directly about the ad.

Assessment

Upheld

The ASA was concerned by HCs lack of response and apparent disregard for the Code, which was a breach of CAP Code clause 2.6 (Non-response). We reminded them of their obligations under the Code and told them to respond promptly in future.

We noted "JON DOE and the FUCK UPS" was the name of the band performing at Hotel California. We considered however that, because it was in a free regional newspaper available to everyone and because the bands name included a swearword, the ad could cause serious or widespread offence to some readers.

The ad breached CAP Code clauses 2.6 (Non-response) and 5.1 (Decency).

Action

We told HC to remove the ad. We asked CAP to advise its members of the problem with them.

Adjudication of the ASA Council (Non-broadcast)

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