Dear Advertising Standards Authority,
I am aware that the ASA is not bound by the Freedom of Information Act, but this nevertheless seems an appropriate channel for enquiry.
I note that in relation to an informally resolved complaint, your press office will disclose on request "the ad and the nature of the complaint we received about it; and that we approached the advertiser about the issue that had been raised and they agreed to change or withdraw the ad".
Given this permitted level of disclosure, there appear to be no confidentiality grounds preventing the ASA from answering the enquiry below:
Could the ASA confirm or deny the following from a Private Eye report, which probably relates to the Highland Titles Ltd case published 17 April 2013?
"The Advertising Standards Authority investigated the website [highlandtitles.com] and closed its file on the complaint after Highland Titles agreed to remove all links to the fake articles [doctored press coverage]..."
In the interests of transparency, your prompt response would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you for your enquiry, and apologies for the delay responding to you.
I can confirm that a case involving Highland Titles Ltd was informally resolved on 17 April 2013. We had received a complaint that claims on the ‘About Us’ section of www.highlandtitles.com were misleading, because some links went to press articles that had been changed from their originals. The case was resolved informally after the advertiser provided assurances that these links had been replaced with direct links to the articles.
Advertising Standards Authority
Mid City Place, 71 High Holborn
London WC1V 6QT
Telephone 020 7492 2222
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Credit to the ASA for a prompt and transparent response. Thank you.