Advertisements for electrical and electronic products sparked the most complaints about ads here last year.

These were followed closely by ads for entertainment establishments, including a gruesome Halloween campaign by Resorts World Sentosa (RWS).

The Advertising Standards Authority of Singapore (Asas) – the industry’s self-regulatory body – received 269 cases of feedback last year, down from 284 in 2016, according to statistics released yesterday. The feedback included requests for advertising advice as well as complaints.

There were 29 reports about ads for electrical and electronic products. Of these, seven were related to ads in trade-show fliers and the media that featured one product image and description but multiple model numbers and prices, such as “usual price”, “sale price” and “show price”, in each listing.

Asas said it has acted on complaints about ambiguous pricing by informing the retailers concerned to be clearer in their price and product claims, which they have since done.

The entertainment, beauty, food and beverage and telecommunications industries rounded up the list of most-complained-about ads.

There was an increase in feedback about ads by entertainment establishments, with 26 cases last year, up from 16 in 2016. Nearly half of last year’s complaints were about ads for Halloween-themed events by entertainment centres which members of the public found distasteful.

In August last year, RWS received criticism for a publicity stunt to promote its Halloween Horror Nights event.

There were 29 reports about ads for electrical and electronic products. Of these, seven were related to ads in trade-show fliers and the media that featured one product image and description but multiple model numbers and prices, such as “usual price”, “sale price” and “show price”, in each listing.

Three memorials appeared at bus shelters, bearing the names and photos – along with flowers – of “victims” of a fictional Southpoint Mall collapse, with some people calling the campaign “tasteless” and “insensitive”.

Another complaint involved a mall’s promotional material for a haunted house event to “solve the mystery of the missing girl”, said the watchdog.

The ad, which depicted self-harm, breached the Singapore Code of Advertising Practice guidelines on violence and influence on children and young people, said Asas, an advisory council to the Consumers Association of Singapore.

Asas said: “As the feedback was received at the end of the advertisement’s run, the advertiser agreed to take Asas’ feedback into consideration for future Halloween events.”

There were also complaints against movie trailers and concerts.

Consumers who encounter ads that are illegal, indecent, dishonest or untruthful are encouraged to write to Asas through a form on its website at www.asas.org.sg/ onlinecomplaint

They should include a clear copy of the ad and details about where they accessed or received it.



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