ASA Adjudication on Acropolis Hotels Ltd
Acropolis Hotels Ltd t/a
Cedar Court Hotels
18 July 2012
Holidays and travel
Number of complaints:
An ad for the Cedar Court Hotel, heard on Stray FM, featured the voices of three children comparing how special their mothers were. One child said "My dad says my mum's so special he's taking her to the Cedar Court Hotel for Mother's Day lunch". A woman's voice said "Harrogate's most special mums will be looked after at the Cedar Court Hotel for Mother's Day this year. If your mum's worth it, call [telephone number]".
A listener challenged whether the ad unfairly targeted children.
Cedar Court Hotels said the ad had run in previous years without comment. They said that, compared with market competition at the time of the ad, the Cedar Court Hotel would not be considered "expensive". They said that, while the ad used children's voices, it was aimed at the father to decide whether, if they were going out for lunch, it would be to the Cedar Court. They said they did not intend to target families with young children and that, of the guests who ate Mother's Day lunch in the restaurant, only 5.5% were children under the age of 18 years.
Stray FM endorsed Cedar Court Hotels' response.
The ASA noted that the ad featured children talking about their mothers, with one saying that, because hers was so special, her father was taking her to the hotel for Mother's Day lunch. We considered the ad was aimed at adults or fathers and suggested lunch at the hotel was a possible treat for the children's mothers, but we did not consider that it was something that was likely to hold particular appeal for the children themselves. In that context, we did not consider that the children's conversation was likely to encourage children who heard the ad to ask their parents or guardians to purchase or enquire about lunch at the hotel and that it did not unfairly target them.
We investigated the ad under BCAP Code rules 1.2 (Responsible advertising) and 5.6, 5.7, 5.8 and 5.9 (Children) but did not find it in breach.
No further action necessary.