New Decisions: Ride-share comparisons, healthy lunchboxes and more

The following decisions have been published:

Comparisons Must be Substantiated

The television advertisement for OLA ride-share shows a split-screen comparison between OLA and the largest ride-share company.  The advertisement says in part: “Both companies have heaps of cars and probably the same drivers… But when you arrive why pay the usual when OLA works out way cheaper… Download the OLA app and get 50% off rides for the first two weeks… Same but better.”  The advertisement includes the text disclaimers “OLA service works out cheaper with OLA discounting” and “When compared to the largest ride-share company.”

The Complainant was concerned the advertisement was misleading in its claims that OLA is cheaper or faster when in the Complainant’s experience they are often neither when compared to their main competitor.

The Advertiser said the advertisement did not claim that OLA had the same wait times or is faster. It said standard (pre-discount) rates for both companies were close to identical, however 80% of OLA’s rides used discounts that averaged 25%.  The Advertiser highlighted the disclaimer on the advertisement which says “OLA service works out cheaper with OLA discounting.”

The Complaints Board agreed the advertisement made no explicit claim that OLA’s service was faster than its competitor, but OLA’s claim that it was “way cheaper” was not sufficiently supported by the information it provided.  The Complaints Board said the advertisement’s disclaimers containing information explaining the pricing structure were difficult to read on a television screen and almost impossible to see on smaller devices.  Accordingly, the Complaints Board ruled the complaint was Upheld.

Occasional Food Must Not Be Presented as Everyday Food

The bus shelter advertisement showed a photo of a boy in school uniform reaching for a packet of Tiny Teddy biscuits in his lunch box. Below the photo is the text “ADD A LITTLE LUNCHBOX LOVE”. To the right of this text is an image of a box containing 15 x 25g packets of Tiny Teddy biscuits, in three flavours. The website advertisement showed two lunch boxes containing sandwiches, fruit and a packet of Tiny Teddy biscuits. On the table in front of the lunch boxes are Tiny Teddy biscuits standing upright. The text says “Tiny Teddy biscuits are the delicious treat your kids will love. With no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives, they’re sure to put a smile on everyone’s face.”

The Complainant was concerned the advertisements were likely to result in harm due to promoting the regular consumption of a sometimes food and the normalisation of an unhealthy relationship with food. They said the advertisement’s message was Tiny Teddy biscuits and the words ADD A LITTLE LUNCH BOX LOVE normalises an unhealthy relationship with food because it promotes the concept that giving Tiny Teddy biscuits for lunch are a way of demonstrating love.

The Advertiser said the advertisements target the main grocery buyer, not children, as their primary audience. The Advertiser said they do not suggest a packet of Tiny Teddy biscuits be included with every school lunch and they refer to them (in the website advertisement) as a “treat”.

The Complaints Board upheld the complaint about the bus shelter advertisement because it gave the misleading impression that a packet of Tiny Teddy biscuits is an everyday food and encouraged the addition of a packet of Tiny Teddy biscuits as part of a balanced school lunch. The Complaints Board did not uphold the complaint about the website advertisement because it refers to Tiny Teddy biscuits as a “treat”, which appropriately reflects the classification of some of the Tiny Teddy biscuit varieties as an occasional food under the Food and Beverage Classification System.