A TV ad for Currys PC World, seen on 4 June 2016, promoted 4K TVs. The voice-over stated, "We know some people will do whatever it takes to watch the football on the right TV. Whether it's this big screen 4K-ready Smart LG for just £549 or this new 49" 4K-ready Panasonic at an amazing £649. The 55" is just £200 more. And only till Wednesday, buy any TV for £699 or over, and with Cash For Goals get £10 for every goal your chosen team scores. So decide on the TV, then where your loyalties lie." The TVs showed staged footage of a football match taking place in a stadium. One TV displayed the text "CASH FOR GOALS". The letter "O" of "GOALS was a rotating football with panels made up of the flags of various countries whose teams were participating in the 2016 UEFA European Championship (Euro 2016). On-screen text stated "Register in 5 days, goals 10/6-10/7, not shoot outs or own goals ...".
The complainant challenged whether the ad misleadingly implied that consumers would be able to watch Euro 2016 in 4K definition.
DSG Retail Ltd t/a Currys PC World said the ad featured two 4K TVs and then provided details of a ‘Cash for Goals’ promotion available on the purchase of any TV costing £699 or more. They said the offer was not limited to purchases of 4K TVs, and that at no point did they mention watching Euro 2016 in 4K, or even watching football in general in 4K. They said the only mention of 4K was to describe accurately the TVs featured at the start of the ad. They explained that the footage was not taken from real football matches, but that the people shown were actors/models. They stated that the Cash For Goals promotion was not specific to the TVs featured in the ad, and that neither TV qualified for the offer as they were priced under £699.
They said the TVs featured were both 4K ready, as described in the voice-over, meaning 4K content, where available, could be viewed in 4K definition. They did not believe stating the TVs were 4K ready indicated all content could be viewed in 4K definition. Moreover, where 4K content was not available, the TVs had the ability to upscale and so improve the picture quality shown from the standard image.
Clearcast said the ad did not state that it was possible to watch Euro 2016 in 4K definition. They said they asked advertisers to reference the fact that a TV was 4K-ready, because 4K was not widely available yet, as they had done previously with HD TVs when they were not widely available. They reiterated that 4K was mentioned to describe the TVs’ features.
They said towards the end of the ad the voice-over stated “buy any TV for £699 or over” to take part in the “Cash for Goals” offer, not just 4K TVs, and they believed that stating a TV was 4K-ready did not guarantee that all content on it would definitely be in 4K. They said there was limited content while broadcasters updated to 4K, but the TVs were ready for the content that was available. They confirmed that none of the footage was taken from real football matches, which might have suggested being able to view football in 4K definition. They therefore felt the ad did not misleadingly imply that consumers would be able to watch Euro 2016 in 4K.
The ASA noted the claim in the voice-over that “… some people will do whatever it takes to watch the football on the right TV”. We noted that there were references in the ad to Euro 2016, such as the panels on the football being made up of European flags, and the Cash for Goals promotion, and considered that in that context, and given the timing of when it was broadcast, viewers were likely to interpret “the football” as referring to Euro 2016 in particular.
We considered that viewers were likely to interpret “the right TV” as a reference to the features of the TV, and in particular the screen size and picture quality. We noted that the voice-over and text in the ad focused on both of those aspects for the TVs featured. Given the references to 4K that followed the claim, we considered that viewers were likely to understand that they would be able to watch Euro 2016 in 4K definition if they purchased one of the 4K televisions in the ad. We noted that the TVs had the ability to upscale, which could have an effect on picture quality, but considered that consumers were likely to understand that they would be able to watch Euro 2016 in genuine 4K definition. We understood, however, that Euro 2016 was not broadcast in 4K definition in the UK and therefore concluded that the ad was misleading.
The ad breached BCAP Code rule 3.1 3.1 Advertisements must not materially mislead or be likely to do so. (Misleading advertising).
The ad must not be broadcast again in its current form. We told DSG Retail Ltd not to imply that particular content could be watched in 4K definition if that was not the case.