A TV ad for the LG Signature Oled wallpaper TV, seen on 16 May 2017, began with an aerial view of the TV against a plain white background. The camera angle changed and five screens were shown side-on, before one dropped down and was shown head-on. The screen flexed slightly to demonstrate its narrow width before lying flat against the plain white wall. A sound bar then appeared out of the wall as the camera panned back and the TV and sound bar turned on, showing a scene of crashing waves accompanied with relevant sound effects. The camera then pulled back further to reveal a living room decorated in a white minimalist style, with a floor-to-ceiling window the length of the room that looked out onto the ocean. The closing frame showed the words “Simplicity. Perfection” and in smaller text “#WallpaperTV”.
The complainant challenged whether the ad misleadingly implied that the sound bar could be used wirelessly.
LG Electronics U.K. Ltd (LG) believed that the picture of the TV and sound bar without any visible wires was simply the best attainable look for the combination of products. The same scenario could be achieved by consumers quite easily by hiding the wires, either by trunking them through the wall, or covering and colouring them accordingly. They thought it would be clear to viewers that a TV would need to be plugged in and pointed out that the ad showed no visible wires from the TV to a plug socket. They accepted that if such wiring had been shown, without also showing the wiring necessary to connect the TV to the sound bar, the ad could imply the sound bar was wireless. However, as it was, they did not believe that was the implication of the ad.
Clearcast supported LG’s response and added that a wireless sound bar would be an added benefit which consumers would expect to be explicitly highlighted as a feature if it was available. Because there was no explicit claim to be wireless, they believed viewers would understand that it did not have that functionality.
The ASA considered that the ad was highly stylised and that the early scenes established that the key feature of the TV was its width, which was very narrow and therefore unobtrusive, such that it was in keeping with the minimalist style and decoration of the room it was revealed to be in. It included a scene in which the sound bar appeared out of the wall, and the decoration of the room, the view of the ocean from the window and the accompanying music gave the ad a surreal feel. Whilst we considered that the absence of any cabling to or from the TV or sound bar contributed to that feel, we considered viewers would understand that both the TV and sound bar would require an electricity supply and that the look achieved in the ad could not be recreated in real life without measures being taken to conceal the necessary wiring.
Although we acknowledged that the sound bar was not wireless, because the ad did not state or imply that it could be used wirelessly, we concluded that it was unlikely to mislead.
We investigated the ad under BCAP Code rules 3.1 and 3.3 (Misleading advertising) and 3.10 (Qualification), but did not find it in breach.
No further action necessary.