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Prankvertising is when a brand uses a prank for its marketing on unsuspecting consumers: the trend seems to be to scare and shock people. Take a look at LG’s prankvert below – it was uploaded on 2nd September 2013 and has achieved nearly 16 million views on YouTube. Personally, we think the LG prankvert is unethical given the constant threat of terrorist activities. If you are on an iPad and can view flash, click here to see the LG prankvert.

Click here to see another example: This Belgian bank’s prankvert warns against identity theft. There are plenty more examples here which appear  to use the scare factor.

What is your view on prankvertising?

Do you think it is marketing gone one step too far or do you think it is a good idea? The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) advertising codes state that ads must not cause fear or distress without justifiable reason; if it can be justified, the fear or distress should not be excessive and marketers must not use a shocking claim or image merely to attract attention.

All businesses who advertise must comply with the ASA guidelines. If you do not comply, you may be subject to fines, legal action and also be named and shamed on the ASA list of non-compliant companies. There are a special set of rules for non-broadcast advertising and you can read them by clicking here.

Anyone can make a complaint to the ASA about any UK based advert – this includes paid-for spaces in newspapers (both national and regional), magazine advertising including reciprocal arrangements and advertorials.

Book your ASA compliant ad campaign design today

The Brand Surgery prides itself in creating positive feelings and trust with our clients’ brand advertising. If you would like an ASA compliant advert designed for your business, call us on 01903 824229 TODAY or email vicky@thebrandsurgery.co.uk.