...don't worry, though, the world hasn't gone through a massive shift in which the PCC has suddenly become effective. No, this is the ASA giving them a stinging slap across the back of the legs for misleading advertising of spring bulbs:
A front-page flash on the Daily Mail was headed "WORTH £25 FREE SPRING BULBS FOR EVERY READER". Smaller text stated "DETAILS: PAGE 50".
Page 50 included a tear-off order form and stated "FREE SPRING BULBS WORTH MORE THAN £25 YOU PAY ONLY P&P ... TODAY, every reader can claim two super packs of FREE spring flowering bulbs. Choose from a pack of 25 large-flowered long-stemmed tulip bulbs or a mixed collection of 100 Cottage Garden Alliums ... All you need to do is send £3.99 for each of the packs you wish to claim, to cover the costs of p&p."
One of the reasons you have to grudgingly admire the Mail is the way in which they never cave in, even when they're obviously in the wrong. They always fight:
Associated Newspapers Ltd (the Daily Mail) said the front-page ad was not misleading. They said the CAP Help Note on front-page flashes did not state that they were required to mention that there were postage and packaging costs for redeeming the promotion.
The ASA disagreed. And the punishment?
The ad must not appear again in its current form.
That'll be a blow, then. Because I'm sure the Mail were planning to run exactly the same promotion again, weeks later, once it had finished completely.
You can't help wondering if the ASA are just as pointless as the PCC.