New Decisions: Ride-share app, alcohol advertising and more

The following decisions have been published:

Ride-Share App Makes Conditions Clearer

The television advertisement for the OLA ride-share app shows a split-screen direct comparison between OLA and the largest ride-share company.  The advertisement says in part: “Download the OLA app and get 50% off rides for the first two weeks.”   The text disclaimer in the end shot says “Maximum discount valued at $10 per ride.  Excludes tolls/third party charges.  See website for T&C’s”

Three complainants said the advertisement was misleading to claim a 50% discount when this is capped at $10, meaning any ride over $20 will not get 50% off.  The Complainants were also concerned the disclaimer showing the limit of the discount was very small in comparison to the “50% off” text and was only shown on the screen for a short time.

The Advertiser noted the key terms and qualifiers are displayed and an estimate fare is provided before any booking is made.  The Advertiser proposed changes to the final frame of the advertisement with the qualifiers “for first 2 weeks and up to $10” being much more prominent in position and font size. The Advertiser confirmed the average OLA fare is in the $15-$18 range meaning a cap of up $10 would mean a full 50% discount for a high proportion of fares.

The Complaints Board said given the Advertiser’s co-operative engagement with the process and the self-regulatory action taken in amending the advertisement to make the disclaimers more prominent, the complaints were settled. Accordingly, the Complaints Board ruled the complaints were Settled.

Alcohol Ad not Socially Responsible

Liquorland’s direct mail brochure contained a range of alcohol products and pricing.  The front page is headed “Summer close enough to taste”.  The brochure groups together different types of alcohol.  The beer section is headed up “Beer – Everything’s brighter with a beer.”  The advertisement also has a logo in the left-hand corner saying “Love Beer”.

The Complainant said the advertisement is misleading to say beer makes things brighter as alcohol is a depressant.  They said it sent a dangerous message about alcohol consumption and the unrestricted medium means children could be exposed to it.

The Advertiser said the main theme of the promotional mailer was Summer and the beer heading was referring to the sunny bright nature of the Summer season.  The Advertiser said with daylight saving, BBQ’s and socialising, summer is brighter and the beer message was intended in this context.

The Complaints Board upheld the complaint. The Complaints Board said the advertisement implied that drinking beer would lead to a beneficial, better outcome which was in breach of Principle 1 and Guideline 1(b) of the Code for Advertising and Promotion of Alcohol.

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