World Cup eye test advert not offensive

Josie Clarke
Wednesday 29 September 2010 00:00 BST

An advert for the supermarket Asda offering free eye tests for Uruguayans after a referee and linesman from that country missed Frank Lampard's goal for England at the World Cup has been cleared of causing offence.

The online promotion for Asda opticians stated: "Our special World Cup offer: Free eye tests for all Uruguayans. Like everyone in England, we couldn't believe our eyes when the Uruguayan referee and linesman failed to recognise Frank Lampard's equalising goal against Germany."

It continued: "We're responding by offering all Uruguayans a free eye test to avoid anything like this happening again."

One complainant, a British-Uruguayan, objected that the advert was offensive. Asda said 15 customers had taken advantage of the offer. The retailer apologised and said it had not intended to cause offence.

The Advertising Standards Authority rejected the complaint, saying: "We understood that the promotion was intended to be light-hearted and humorous, exploiting the controversy resulting from the Germany and England World Cup game.

"In that context, while we acknowledged the attempt at humour might be distasteful to some, we considered that most readers of the ad would interpret it as football banter rather than malice towards Uruguayans."

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