Wednesday, 7 January 2015
More misleading leaflets from anti-fracking groups
In the news today, another anti-fracking group, Resident's Action on Fylde Fracking, has been forced to withdraw its literature due to inaccuracies, misleading comments and unsubstantiated statements. This follows a similar ASA ruling last year in Somerset, and from the equivalent body in Australia. This incident has been reported in The Times (£) and Independent.
Full details of the complaint and the ASA's draft judgement are not available. This is because, rather than face a final judgement, RAFF agreed to withdraw the offending leaflet. In such cases, where the advertiser withdraws the material, the ASA will cease it's investigation, since the likely decision would be to force the advertiser to take these actions anyway.
Most amusing is RAFF's attempts to put a positive spin on the decision. They appear to make the claim that the leaflet "was therefore NOT withdrawn as a result of Mr Roberts’ complaint". However, comments from the ASA make clear that that's exactly what has happened: ASA comments are reported as: "The ASA was carefully assessing evidence from both sides. They had not come to any conclusion… They (RAFF) withdrew the leaflet before a final decision was made." Further, it appears that RAFF were required to provide assurance to the ASA that the leaflet would not be repeated or re-distributed.