The programme included an item on high-visibility safety wear, principally concerned with the issue of items which didn’t meet the relevant regulatory standards. The owner of Equisafety complained that her company’s products were shown in a manner which wrongly suggested that they fell below regulatory standards; that they featured as a result of the activities of a contributor who was associated with her principal competitor, but who was misleadingly represented in the programme as no more than a concerned customer; and that Equisafety had been given no opportunity to respond to damaging criticism.
The ECU found that there was in fact no suggestion that Equisafety products failed to meet the relevant standards, but that viewers should have been made aware of the contributor’s interest, and that Equisafety should have been given the opportunity to respond to the suggestion that they had continued to distribute items with tags claiming police endorsement after the ASA had ruled against the use of such claims in Equisafety’s advertising.
The programme team has been reminded to be careful about the way in which they introduce contributors and the circumstances in which they should offer an individual the right of reply. The original programme will not be repeated in its present form.
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