A TV ad for a selection of tins of sweets featured a woman sitting on a sofa who picked sweets from a tin of Quality Street. The voice-over said "Supposed to be saving those for Christmas day. Oh, not to worry - with five pound tins of treats from now until Christmas at Morrisons, you can always get some more." The ad then showed the woman who delved into the sweet tin with her arm. The ad cut away to show a man looking curiously over the top of a newspaper and cut back to the sofa, with the woman's feet protruding out the top of the tin which then disappeared completely into the tin. The ad then showed six tins of sweets of various brands on top of a cupboard, with an arm reaching up to take one.
Seven complainants challenged whether the ad was misleading because they believed the actual tin of Quality Street on sale was smaller than portrayed in the ad.
Clearcast said they had approved the ad because they thought the scenes in which the person disappeared into the tin of sweets obviously used a creative device and people were unlikely to believe a person could be sucked into a tin of sweets. They said the tin was enlarged to make the metaphor work but the sweet tin displayed at the end of the ad made sure people knew what the actual sizes were. They added that they did not believe the ad was materially misleading.
Wm Morrison Supermarkets plc (Morrisons) said the ad was part of a series that had a common 'day dream' fantasy theme. In keeping with the theme, the scene depicting the actress disappearing into a 'virtual' tin of chocolates was pure fantasy. They said they were obliged to use the smallest oversized tin opening that a person could pass through comfortably and safely so the sequence was viable and they had employed a yoga artist to allow the use of an even smaller tin than a 'normal' person could pass through. They said standard sized tins of each variety on offer were shown on top of the wardrobe in the next 'real life' scene. The actress took a tin from the top of the wardrobe and the close-up shot with her hands showed its size and scale very clearly in a real, rather than obvious fantasy setting.
The ASA considered that the scene where the actor disappeared into the tin was unlikely to be viewed as a realistic situation and we acknowledged that a larger tin would have been necessary to portray the element of visual fantasy. We noted the final scene showed the woman's hand fully outstretched as she reached for the tin of sweets. We obtained the product in order to ascertain its size relative to the woman's hand and noted it was slightly smaller than the impression given by the ad. However, we noted the ad gave the price of the product, but did not include its weight or show the product contents. Because the ad did not make any claims for the weight or contents of the tin, we concluded the ad was not misleading.
We investigated the ad under BCAP Code rule 3.1 3.1 Advertisements must not materially mislead or be likely to do so. (Misleading advertising) but did not find it in breach.
No further action necessary.