Thursday, December 02, 2004

:: adgruntie :: Ad news from Scotland and Tanzania

+ The state of advertising in Scotland is looking good. Here's an excerpt:
The industry has also received an added boost from the Scottish Executive increasing their advertising spend and keeping many of their accounts in Scotland. Last year alone, the Executive spent more on advertising than some of the biggest household name companies - including Ford, BT and NestlĂ©. Its total spend went up to £6 million, helping the Scottish industry to start emerging from a two-year slump, although the threat of accounts moving south remains. Despite the loss of multi-million pound accounts such as the Royal Bank of Scotland, Kwik-Fit and Intelligent Finance to London agencies, advertising agencies are positive about the years ahead. Ian McAteer, chairman of the Scottish Institute of Practitioners in Advertising, says the industry is in a healthier state than two years ago: "In Scotland, there is certainly a feeling that we have weathered the storm," he says. "There were redundancies as agencies slimmed down and cut costs, but new firms have emerged. We need to capitalise on the upswing, but there is concern about the drip-drip of accounts to London and threats from pressure groups calling for bans on alcohol, food and toy advertising for children."

+ Telkom ad in Tanzania banned for being too realistic.
Telkom has misled consumers. This is according to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), which yesterday ruled against the telecommunications giant, and instructed it to withdraw its advertisement entitled "Surgery".
The ad, created by Herdbuoys McCann-Erickson, raised the ire of several consumers in November, when they discovered that it was not a true tale. Six of these consumers complained to the ASA, on the grounds that the ad misled consumers into believing that the events portrayed in the ad had actually taken place....
The ad in question tells the story of "Juma" a Tanzanian boy who has "just turned six". The commercial explains that this would not have been possible had it not been for "the emergency operation, performed by Cape Town heart surgeon Dr Anton Louw". It concludes that "the real miracle is that Juma and Anton were three thousand miles apart, thanks to ISDN technology".
At the end of the commercial the payoff line "Touch Tomorrow" appears on the screen and a voiceover states: "From telephones to distant surgery, and this is just the beginning".
The truth of the matter, however, is that that there is no ISDN technology available in Tanzania, nor has remote surgery ever been performed in South Africa. The Telkom tale is just that - a tale.
But Telkom and its advertising agency believe that they never claimed otherwise. Said creative director on the project John Smeddle: "The ad makes no product claims. It’s a corporate ad, demonstrating the culture behind Telkom, not its capabilities. It tells a story about the company, and how it thinks. It tells a story about what is possible, what could be possible in this country, with the help of a company like Telkom and the technology it has at its disposal.”
It's Smeddle's contention that the payoff line "Touch Tomorrow" encapsulates the future orientation of the ad.
Unfortunately for Smeddle and his team, however, the ASA doesn't share this view.
"The commercial tells the story in a manner that could be likened to a documentary," says the ruling.

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