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When you are running a sales promotion, it is important to make sure that you don't breach any self-regulatory rules. The ASA recently upheld complaints about a competition for subscribers to The Sun’s Dream Team fantasy football competition to win a date with a Page Three girl. Helen Hart looks at what the decision means for advertisers and their legal advisers.
An email sent to subscribers to The Sun's Dream Team fantasy football competition invited subscribers to create a Mini League and said that if they recruited more than ten players to it they would be entered into a prize draw for a date with a Page Three girl, saying:
'Don't listen to your girlfriend when she says size doesn't matter. The bigger your Mini League is, the more prizes you can get your mitts on.'
It also included the wording:
'We might even let you pick which one, so feel free to start your research now...'
The ASA received 1,036 complaints, many of which were submitted as part of a campaign led by a global campaign organisation called SumOfUs.org. The complainants said that to offer a date with a Page Three girl as a prize was sexist and objectified women, and challenged whether the advertisement was offensive and socially irresponsible. Many of the complainants also challenged whether the ad was socially irresponsible for offering a date with a Page Three girl as an incentive to gamble. The ASA investigated the complaints under the UK Code of Advertising, Direct Marketing and Sales Promotions, rr 1.3 (responsible advertising), 4.1 (harm and offence), 8.7 (sales
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