Currys PC World censured for ‘misleading’ 4K TV Euro 2016 advert

The Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) has upheld a complaint against Currys PC World for airing a misleading 4K TV advert.

Currys was found to have made it appear as though 4K-ready Panasonic TVs were capable of showing Euro 2016 matches in Ultra HD resolution

The ASA found that, although there was no explicit reference made to the Euro tournament in the ad, a graphic of a rotating football made up of the flags of competing teams, alongside footage of matches, made it appear as though the TVs would be capable of showing the matches in 4K.

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4K UHD

Although the TVs can upscale footage from 1080p resolution to 4K, the tournament itself was not broadcast in 4K, and upscaling does not improve picture quality enough for it to be considered Ultra HD quality.

The advert’s voiceover states “We know some people will do whatever it takes to watch the football on the right TV,” before presenting the 4K sets.

The regulator said in its ruling: “Given the references to 4K… we considered that viewers were likely to understand that they would be able to watch Euro 2016 in 4K definition if they purchased one of the 4K televisions in the ad.

“…We understood, however, that Euro 2016 was not broadcast in 4K definition in the UK and therefore concluded that the ad was misleading.”

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Currys PC World aired the first of the two adverts on June 4, six days ahead of the Euro 2016 tournament opening.

The company defended the ad, referring to the upscaling ability as justification for its claims. Clearcast – an advertising clearance service – also defended its decision to clear the ad on the basis of the TVs being described as ‘4K-ready’, rather than there being any guarantee of 4K football.

Both these defenses were dismissed by the ASA, which maintained consumers were still likely to have expected 4K football matches based on the advert.

Earlier this year, Currys PC World was similarly reprimanded after advertising 4K TVs as allowing families to ‘watch their favourite Christmas movies in greater detail’.

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What do you think of the ASA’s decision? Let us know in the comments.

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