A television advertisement for an Emmerdale studio tour has been banned for exaggerating the visitor experience.
The ad showed a woman being transported from her kitchen to a field, a costume room and indoor sets from the ITV soap, and finally to the show’s fictional pub, The Woolpack, before a voiceover stated: “Step into the drama. The Emmerdale Studio Experience.”
Responding to two complaints that the ad misleadingly exaggerated the experience, ITV Broadcasting, which produced the ad, said the sets at the Emmerdale Studio Experience were exact replicas at a studio where the soap’s interior scenes used to be shot until the majority of filming moved elsewhere.
They said the tour aimed to give visitors an insight into the types of processes involved in the production of Emmerdale.
ITV said the ad was purposely not a step-by-step guide to what visitors would see, partly because the intention was to keep an element of surprise, and therefore did not say that visitors would tour the actual sets.
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) acknowledged there was a “fantastical element” to the ad, “but we considered consumers would understand from the ad that the attraction was an immersive experience which incorporated the various experiences depicted”.
The ASA said: “While we noted that the experiences depicted in the ad were in the main based on different elements of the attraction, we considered that the ad, particularly through the inclusion of the outdoor field location, the scene in which the woman handled costumes and the scene with crew working in the background, implied that visitors would have a more immersive, wide-ranging and dramatic experience than we understood the attraction provided.
“We therefore concluded the ad misleadingly exaggerated the features of the attraction.”
It ruled that the ad must not appear again in its current form.