THE ADVERTISING STANDARDS AUTHORITY has ordered Sony UK
to submit all future ads for its prior approval. The decision follows the watchdog’s conclusion that Sony had been ‘irresponsible’, following a number of rulings that its ads were ‘distasteful and offensive’. One example was a pseudo-medical mailing to 500,000 homes with envelopes overprinted ‘Private and Confidential’ and ‘Test. Denying that the company deliberately set out to use shock tactics, a Sony spokesman claimed that its latest offending poster campaign ‘was seen by ten million people and just ten complained about it; but, of course, we’ll comply with the ASA ruling. We have already apologised personally to everyone who was aggrieved by the mail-out.’ Sony is only the third advertiser required to submit its campaigns in advance to the ASA. The other two are Talk Radio and the Campaign for Racial Equality.