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Occasionally the ASA gives the impression of acting more as a consumer protection body rather than 'just' a regulator of advertising. The CAP Code says that it is to be observed in spirit as well as to the letter, so it is perhaps not surprising that sometimes it feels as if its adjudications have more to do with keeping consumers happy, than considering whether the advertising was fair when it was published.
However, operational difficulties can get in the way of what an organisation has promised its customers in its advertising. In those circumstances it may seem rather harsh to uphold complaints about the advertising, particularly if the organisation concerned was telling the truth when the advertising was published and especially when the organisation concerned has tried to make it up to its disappointed customers.
Such an adjudication caught my eye recently—it related to a Valentine’s Day offer of roses promoted by
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