The UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has ruled that the advertisement against illegal immigration was not offensive

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The UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has ruled that the negative advertisement which was aimed at discouraging foreigners from entering UK was not offensive in nature. The advertisement was launched as a pilot campaign of the  Home office department and very quickly gained a lot of controversy. The ASA received 224 complaints about the large poster adverts, which were mounted on lorries and then driven through the streets of the six London Boroughs. The adverts read ‘In the UK illegally? Go home or face arrest’ and showed a home office immigration officer holding some handcuffs. The ASA however ruled that the advertisement was aimed at those people who live illegally in the country and therefore it is not connected with their ethnicity. In addition to that the metropolitan police gave no indication that there is a increase in racist crimes in areas where the advert was run. The ASA however concluded that the advertising was misleading. This was the fact that it claimed that there were over 106 arrests of illegal immigrants, while according to a data from the use home office the number was much less than that. The ASA said ‘Because the data on which the claim was based related to a significant part of London north of the Thames rather than to the specific areas in which the poster was displayed, and because the data did not relate to the week prior to the campaign, we concluded the claim was misleading and had not been substantiated’. The spokesman of the UK home office has stated that he is pleased with the ruling of ASA which proves that the campaign was not disrespectful and was aimed at encouraging illegal immigrants to leave the country in order not to get arrested.

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