Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Overcast day…….sandy beach……rolling waves…… suited men……Does the aforementioned call to mind a recent advertisement flighted on national television - Santam's advertisement featuring increasing doubles of Sir Ben Kingsley advertising insurance services?
Men in suits and images of the beach are an unlikely combination but are the backbone of the impact of the advertisement. I was then surprised by another advertisement recently flighted, advertising the services of Dial Direct. The doubles of the "yadayada" people are also clothed in dark suits walking on a beach. Clearly this advertisement brings to mind the advertising concept depicted in the Santam advertisement.
The protection of advertisements and the standards to which they must adhere is governed by the Code of Advertising Practice as enforced by the Advertising Standards of Authority of South Africa. To my mind, the Dial Direct advertisement falls short of the provisions of clause 9 of the Code which provide that:
"An advertiser should not copy an existing advertisement, local or international, or any part thereof in a manner that is recognizable or clearly evokes the existing concept and which may result in the likely loss of potential advertising value. This will apply notwithstanding the fact that there is no likelihood of confusion or deception or that the existing concept has not been generally exposed".
The advertising concept created by the Santam advertisement is clearly imitated in the Dial Direct advertisement. The ambit of the Code covers a wide range of transgressions by advertisers and entities. Competitors are well advised to consider filing complaints before the Advertising Standards Authority where an advertisement contravenes the Code.
The filing of a successful complaint will result in the advertiser being forced to withdraw the offending advertisement from every medium in which it appeared.
I wonder whether Santam will pursue the matter at the Advertising Standards Authority against Dial Direct?