ASA Adjudication on 007 Magazine & Archive Ltd
007 Magazine & Archive Ltd
6 New Street
21 December 2011
Number of complaints:
The 007 Magazine website, visited in August 2011, stated "THE WORLD'S FOREMOST JAMES BOND RESOURCE Purchased internationally in over 40 countries since 1979". Further text read "No real James Bond fan can ever miss a copy of 007 MAGAZINE... The 007 MAGAZINE website is a unique presence on the World Wide Web and is the world's Number One James Bond archival source for 007 enthusiasts, students of cinema & literature, and the media alike".
MI6 Confidential challenged whether:
1. the claim "Purchased internationally in over 40 countries since 1979" was misleading and could be substantiated;
2. the claim "Number One James Bond archival source" was misleading and could be substantiated; and
3. the testimonial "No real James Bond fan can ever miss a copy of 007 MAGAZINE" was genuine.
CAP Code (Edition 12)
1. 007 Magazine & Archive Ltd (007 Magazine) provided a report from 1995 which they believed demonstrated both that the magazine had been in circulation since 1979 and that it had been purchased in over 40 countries since that time.
2. 007 Magazine believed theirs was the largest and most comprehensive commercial archive relating to the James Bond phenomenon in the world and that it was therefore accurate to describe it as the "Number One James Bond archival source".
3. 007 Magazine said the testimonial was taken from a letter sent to them by an overseas reader but that they could not locate the original letter.
The ASA noted that the evidence sent by 007 Magazine in support of the claim was prepared in 1995, when we understood the magazine was still distributed to all members of the "James Bond 007 Fan Club". We considered the information showed that in 1995, the fan club had members in over 40 countries but we understood that the magazine was no longer associated with the fan club. Furthermore, we considered that the claim "Purchased internationally in over 40 countries worldwide since 1979" should be supported by up-to-date distribution figures that had been independently audited to ensure that they were accurate and verifiable. Because we had not seen up to date, independently audited distribution figures, we concluded the claim had not been substantiated and was misleading.
On this point, the website breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 3.1 (Misleading advertising) and 3.7 (Substantiation).
We considered readers would understand the claim "Number One James Bond archival source" in relation to the website to mean that it was the most visited site of its kind and we therefore considered that it should be supported by comparative, independently audited website visitor figures. Because we had not seen independently audited website visitor figures, we concluded the claim had not been substantiated and was misleading.
On this point, the website breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 3.1 (Misleading advertising), 3.7 (Substantiation) and 3.38 (Comparisons).
Because 007 Magazine no longer held documentary evidence that demonstrated the testimonial was genuine, we concluded the ad breached the Code.
On this point, the website breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rule 3.45 (Testimonials).
The claims must not appear again in their current form. We told 007 Magazine they should not make distribution claims for their publication or "No. 1" claims in relation to the website unless they were substantiated by independently audited figures. We also told them to retain sufficient documentary evidence in future to support all testimonials.