1&1 Internet Ltd’s new gTLD TV Ads promoting pre-registration services have been banned from the UK’s airwaves for being “likely to mislead” by the Advertising Standards Authority.
The ads were part of probably the biggest new gTLD marketing outreach to date, a worldwide campaign I’ve heard is costing 1&1 up to $80 million
A television commercial similar to 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 found that the Television commercials of 1and1.com on the new gTLD was misleadingly.
“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.