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WHSmith and Harrods ad complaints not upheld


Complaints made about recent adverts by UK retailers WHSmith and Harrods have not been upheld by the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA), it was announced today.

WHSmith’s TV ad for its in-store book club with Richard Madeley and Judy Finnigan was challenged by the Original Book Club merchandising rights owner Cactus TV, which claimed there was an implied connection between the new promotion and its heritage.

Meanwhile a Cluedo-style advert published in Harrods’ magazine for its in-store clothing range was accused of being “offensive and likely to condone violence”.

ASA concluded investigations into both matters had concluded that the retailers’ campaigns did not breach any advertising rules, unlike its enquiry into complaints about Asda’s price guarantee campaign.

Earlier today, the watchdog announced that the grocer should not publish or broadcast a selection of its ads after judging some of its marketing actions “misleading”.

WHSmith recently launched the Richard & Judy Book Club initiative in its stores as one way of meeting the requirements of its core customer base.

In recent years, under the stewardship of CEO Kate Swann, the high street mainstay has gradually reduced its entertainment offering comprising of DVD and CDs in order to focus on selling its more popular categories, stationary and books.

WHSmith told Retail Gazette today that it was “pleased to hear of the ASA’s decision”.

Published on Wednesday 02 February by Editorial Assistant

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