The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) which is the independent regulator of advertising across all media the United Kingdom has just banned 1and1.com new gTLD television commercials as being misleading.
A television commercial similar to the one 1and1.com was running in the United States, was also running in the UK.
The ASA applies the Advertising Codes, which are written by the Committees of Advertising Practice. Our work includes acting on complaints and proactively checking the media to take action against misleading, harmful or offensive advertisements.
“The ASA noted the ad invited consumers to choose from over 700 new domains and to pre-order those domains. ”
“Whilst we considered consumers would understand the reference to ‘pre-order’ to mean that the domain names were not currently available, we considered they would understand the ad to mean that they could place an order with 1&1 Internet that would secure their chosen domain name when it became available. ”
“However, we understood that that was not the case and that upon receipt of a pre-order, 1&1 Internet would pass on the customer’s request to the relevant domain name registry, who would apply their own allocation process when the requested domain name became available. ”
“We therefore considered the presentation of the ad was likely to mislead. ”
“On that basis, we concluded that the ad breached the Code.”
The ruling means the ad cannot run again in the UK in its current form.
I hate to say I told you so but i did back on September 22nd right after the commercials started airing.