Summary of Council decision:
Two issues were investigated, both of which were Upheld.
An ad on a collection bag featured the "Kids 'n' Cancer UK" logo and stated "RECYCLE WITH US ... USING THE BAG ENCLOSED Our Authorised Collector ...". The GT Recycling logo was also featured and at the bottom of the bag it stated the charity's name and registered charity number. On the reverse it stated "www.kidsncancer.co.uk/recycle PLEASE RECYCLE...". Further text stated "1 in 3 people get some form of cancer. We are committed to helping families whose children are diagnosed with tumours that will respond to the latest form of radiation therapy - proton therapy. Proton therapy is still unavailable in Britain. We provide financial, emotional and practical support to families so their children can undergo proton therapy abroad". A case study of a family they had previously helped was also described and at the bottom of the page text stated "WE URGENTLY REQUIRE: CLEAN REUSABLE CLOTHING. BOOKS, CDs, DVDs & VIDEO GAMES, HANDBAGS, BELTS & JEWELLERY, PAIRED SHOES."
1. The complainant challenged whether the ad misleadingly implied that GT Recycling were Kids 'n' Cancer's authorised collector, because he believed that the collection was for commercial purposes and that the charity was only receiving some payment for the use of their name and charity number.
2. He also challenged whether the ad was misleading, because it omitted the identity of the marketer.
GT Recycling Initiatives Ltd (GT Recycling Initiatives) said they operated a nationwide initiative aimed at increasing the awareness of recycling and rewarding charities they supported. They said they had a recycling agreement with Kids 'n' Cancer and all payments to them had been made. They submitted a copy of their agreement with Kids 'n' Cancer and e-mails between GT Recycling Initiatives and Eden District Council.
Kids 'n' Cancer said GT Recycling Initiatives had requested to use their name to collect pre-used clothes in exchange for money for the charity. GT Recycling Initiatives were one of a number of commercial companies with whom they had made similar arrangements for raising money for the charity.
1. & 2. Upheld
The bag stated "RECYCLE WITH US" and featured the Kids 'n' Cancer Logo, its registered charity number and website address. It also stated "PLEASE RECYCLE" and information about the charity. The ASA considered recipients were likely to understand from this that Kids 'n' Cancer were the marketer and that GT Recycling Initiatives were the charity's authorised collector, collecting on their behalf. We noted the bag included the claim "Our Authorised Collector". However, we understood that GT Recycling Initiatives were responsible for coordinating the marketing material and paid Kids 'n' Cancer for the use of their name, logo and details. Although they provided payment to the charity, GT Recycling Initiatives were mainly collecting for their own commercial purposes. Because the commercial purpose of the ad and the advertiser's involvement was not made clear, we concluded that it was misleading.
The ad breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules
Marketing communications must not materially mislead or be likely to do so.
Marketing communications must not mislead the consumer by omitting material information. They must not mislead by hiding material information or presenting it in an unclear, unintelligible, ambiguous or untimely manner.
Material information is information that the consumer needs to make informed decisions in relation to a product. Whether the omission or presentation of material information is likely to mislead the consumer depends on the context, the medium and, if the medium of the marketing communication is constrained by time or space, the measures that the marketer takes to make that information available to the consumer by other means. and 3.5 3.5 Marketing communications must not materially mislead by omitting the identity of the marketer.
Some marketing communications must include the marketer's identity and contact details. Marketing communications that fall under the Database Practice or Employment sections of the Code must comply with the more detailed rules in those sections.
Marketers should note the law requires marketers to identify themselves in some marketing communications. Marketers should take legal advice. (Misleading advertising).
The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told GT Recycling Initiatives to make clear their commercial purpose and identity as the marketer in future ads.