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Published on July 22nd, 2010 | by Christian Cawley

Audio Offer “Misleading”

The Daily Telegraph’s Doctor Who audiobook offer in May has come under fire from the Advertising Standards Authority for misleading readers about the nature of the offer.

Anyone buying the Daily Telegraph between April 23rd and 30th from WHSmith had the chance to pickup the following:
Doctor Who - Pest Control read by David Tennant

The Runaway Train - An original story, read by Matt Smith

Pest Control Part One – read by David Tennant

Pest Control Part Two – read by David Tennant

Slipback – Colin Baker, Nicola Bryant and Valentine Dyall star in this BBC Radio 4 adventure from 1985

Exploration Earth – Tom Baker and Elisabeth Sladen star in this special BBC School Radio episode from 1976.

Genesis of the Daleks – Tom Baker narrates an abridged audio version of the 1975 television adventure.

Mission on the Unknown – The soundtrack to a Doctor Who adventure from 1965, but which famously does not feature the Doctor himself, with linking narration by Peter Purves

This week long offer was apparently spearheaded by the Telegraph promoting the initial two-part release as a “free” giveaway; however many members of the public would have had to pay £12.99 to receive the majority of the giveaway by post.

Alerting readers to the giveaway, the Sunday Telegraph published a “Free Inside: Dr Who Audiobook read by David Tennant” banner – yet i was not clear until reading terms and conditions inside the Monday edition that readers were informed of the £12.99 charge if the postal option was taken up in preference to collecting the CD from a branch of WHSmith.

According to the ASA watchdog:

“significant qualification to the offer was not made clear to readers at the point at which they were introduced to the offer, the front-page flash was misleading”.

The ASA also said it considered that the audiobooks were “not free to those consumers who took up the offer through the postal route”.

“Because the audiobooks were not free to all respondents, we concluded that the claim that the audiobooks were ‘free’ was misleading.”

(Via The Guardian/www.drwho-online.co.uk)

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About the Author

A long-term Doctor Who fan, Christian grew up watching the show and has early memories of the Graham Williams era. His favourite stories are Inferno, The Seeds of Doom and Human Nature (although The Empty Child, Blink and Utopia all come close). When he’s not bossing around the news team, Christian is a freelance writer specialising in mobile technology and domestic computing, and enjoys classic rock, cooking and spending time in the countryside with his wife and young children. You can find him on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.




One Response to Audio Offer “Misleading”

  1. Paul Cavanagh says:

    I was caught out by a similar scheme run by the News of the World, whose Life on Mars offer seemed very tempting indeed. Week after week I went down to WH Smith to pick up my free DVD only to be told they’d all been given out. It was clear that in the first week, WH Smith had been given adequate stocks, but thereafter you would have had to have queued up early to get your free copy. I called the paper’s customer service line several times, but still have an incomplete collection. I won’t be falling for it again.

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