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ASA rules on Iran ad

by: Leslie Bunder - Last updated: 2006-07-19

AJC Iran ad

AJC Iran ad

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has hit out on the American Jewish committee (AJC) for failing to respond to its investigations over an advertisement that appeared highlighting concern over Iran.

The ad in business newspaper the Financial Times in April this year attracted complaints from members of the public as well as Iran's London Embassy over the text "Can anyone within range of Iran's missiles feel safe?" and "Suppose Iran one day gives nuclear devices to terrorists. Could anyone anywhere feel safe?"

The ad from the New York-based group was described by the ASA as featuring "a political map of Eurasia and Africa, centred on Iran, which was in the middle of two concentric circles that indicated the current and projected range of Iran's missile capability."

A total of five issues were raised over the ad of which only one was taken up by the ASA. Those complaining said it was irresponsible and offensive which the ASA said was not the case. But on the issue of the range of the missiles quoted in the ad, the ASA sided on those who complained.

It said: "We noted the AJC's failure to respond and considered that they had not substantiated the claims about estimated and projected missile ranges. Because the AJC had not substantiated the claims, we concluded that they were misleading. We told the AJC not to repeat the claims."

As well as appearing in the Financial Times, the ad  was also published in the New York Times, International Herald Tribune and New York Sun.