The Dutch Advertising Code applies to all advertising. Advertising should comply with the code, which means for example that advertising must not be misleading. In other words, the advertisement must not create the impression that the buyer gets something while this is not true. Of course, a great part of advertising lies in exaggeration and atmospheric images are used frequently, but sometimes a complaint is well-founded. Like the one of Sunweb. Sunweb is a travel agency. They had a commercial that promoted a trip to the Algarve (Portugal). The commercial was quite nice actually: two people in love were riding on a motorcycle along the beach with music by Xavier Rudd (Follow the sun). A quite stylistic commercial with a good song. With one problem however as the road was not quite on the Algarve but in South Africa. One of the viewers recognised the road, found the commercial misleading and filed a complaint. Sunweb did not agree and asserted that the images served only to promote the holiday feeling. The Board of the Advertising Code Commission considers firstly that the advertising will certainly be perceived as a promotion of the Algarve. The viewer can thus be influenced to book the trip to Algarve after having watched the commercial. His expectation is to see a similar road with similar surroundings. While Sunweb stressed at the hearing that the landscape in Algarve did not differ as much as those in South Africa, the Board is not convinced: beach, rocks, yes, but steep high mountains are not seen in the picture showed by Sunweb. So, the Board rules that the commercial is misleading and should not be shown again. Any company who uses atmospheric images in advertising can just keep doing this after this decision. If only an offer has been be made (for a trip, event but also a product), the consumer will link the image and the offer demand and these should match.
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