Shopping network rapped by watchdog for safety breach

By By Amy Kellow | 7 March 2013
Global Shop Direct will modify its 'GripGo' television commercial after the ASB ruled it was a breach of health and safety standards.

The ad watchdog has upheld a case against an ad for Global Shop Direct's GripGo mobile phone car holder, following complaints it promoted "dangerous" and "illegal" driving practices.

Global Shop Direct - the company behind products including the AbCoaster, Genie Bra and the Schticky - was slammed by the Advertising Standards Bureau for a television ad promoting its new car mobile phone mount, the GripGo.

In a bid to demonstrate how the cradle was beneficial for drivers, the spot showed people looking away from the road to reach fallen or ringing mobile phones. It also showed the demonstrator shaking the cradle out the window while driving to demonstrate its strength, and the product positioned in the centre of the car windscreen when inside the vehicle.

Two consumers complained about the ad, with the first arguing the aforementioned footage was "illegal" and "dangerous". They also argued the cradle must be positioned in the lower corner of the window, not in the centre. The second complainant argued it "made light of the task of full concentration" while driving, and pointed towards such advertising as a reason why road accidents occur.

Global Shop Direct hit back at the watchdog arguing it used the footage in question to demonstrate "what you should not do" and denied that it suggested such activity was "safe or legal". It also said the central position of GripGo did "not distract or obscure" the driver's view and thus complied with NSW state laws.

Furthermore, it said the ad and the product encouraged users to "check local laws before installation" and warned it was "filmed for demonstration purposes only under controlled conditions".

Following this, the board decided the ad was a breach of prevailing community health and safety standards due to its footage of the driver leaning out of the window. However, it didn't uphold the ad on the complaints that it promoted "unsafe" or "illegal" driving as it offered the product as a "safe solution" to doing so.

Global Shop Direct complied with the ruling and said it was in the process of "modifying the TV commercial to remove the scene of the man leaning outside the window".

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