ASA declines to rule on Live And Unsigned advertising

By | Published on Thursday 31 May 2012

Live And Unsigned

The Advertising Standards Authority has declined to rule on whether or not a new bands competition broke advertising rules in 2010 when it outlined the prizes that winning bands would receive.

As previously reported, it was a band called Underline The Sky that made a complaint to the ASA. They claimed that they had never seen any of the prizes that had been promised in the contest’s original advertising after winning Live And Unsigned in 2010. Organisers of the competition admitted that, for various reasons, prizes had changed that year, but said that the changes had been communicated, and that Underline The Sky had refused to accept the alternative prizes.

Either way, the ASA says it cannot rule on Live And Unsigned’s 2010 adverts because they were issued too long ago – the advertising industry regulator only considers ads that have been in circulation within the last three months. The Authority added that it would monitor Live And Unsigned’s 2012 advertising instead.

Organisers of Live And Unsigned welcomed the ruling, adding: “We can now continue with giving artists opportunities that are very difficult to come by in the music industry”.

Meanwhile, Underline The Sky drummer James Hicks said the band were “disappointed with the [ASA] investigation”, but added: “We hope that we’ve rattled a few bones. If we can make people a bit more wary of [the competition], it’s a minor win”.

As also previously reported, when investigating the original complaint the BBC discovered other former competitors in Live And Unsigned who were unhappy with the contest, though also past participants who spoke positively of the enterprise. What is probably true is that a band’s experience of any unsigned band competition will depend to an extent on their exceptions. Even winners of ‘X-Factor’ aren’t assured long term fame and fortune after victory, and the same is true of all new talent competitions, though usually more so.