truth in advertising
Posted by Abe Sauer on July 15, 2010 10:00 AM
Who is the first and the last person most advertising experts will run a campaign by? Proofreader? No. Creative Director? Nope. Legal counsel? Bingo. Well, it appears somebody representing Toshiba in Spain forgot to do that. Or maybe they did. Either way, Toshiba is screwed in Spain.
Of all those who made promises based on a certain team winning the World Cup, most thought worst of Dutch porn star Bobbi Eden's offer to sexually service all her Twitter followers should Oranje clinch the cup. Well, no longer. It turns out, long before a Dutch porn promise or a Mardonna oath of nudity, there was a promise made about Spain's win. And not the one Enrique Iglesias made about waterskiing naked either.
Despite Spain being a favorite to win it all, Toshiba ran ads declaring "Si la Roja gana, tú ganas," or "If the Red wins, you win." The "Red" is slang for Team Spain. Many consumers ran out and purchased PCs and TVs and watched the games.
Of course, Spain did win. But now Toshiba is pointing to the fine print. Fine print that, somehow, was not on most of the "Si la Roja gana, tú ganas" ads.
The fine print does what fine print usually does: stipulate the terms and conditions of the offer in legalese. Naturally, very few Toshiba buyers registered their purchases by June 17, one requirement of the fine print. It is estimated Toshiba sold about 20,000 units during the promotion. (Page in English translation)
Somebody at Toshiba apparently needs to take PR 101, because not only is the brand not honoring the offer to all, claiming the law doesn't require it to, but consumer groups are kicking up a fuss and damaging the good spirit that prompted the offer in the first place.
This is certainly bad for the brand overall, but how bad? Toshiba in Spain will suffer a great deal. While a few American blogs (like Gizmodo) have picked up on the story, it has yet to explode nationally, if it ever does. So is Toshiba right to stand by its fine print and avoid a costly PR fix? Will this all blow over or come back to haunt the brand for years to come?
(Image vía MuyComputer.com)