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Asha Bhosle’s restaurant rapped by UK ad watchdog over selecting contest winners

The UK’s Advertising Standards Authority upheld a complaint lodged by an individual who said prizes were awarded to Asha Bhosle’s friends, while Asha’s Restaurants said the winners were randomly selected by the sales and marketing manager from people who liked the restaurant’s Facebook page.

world Updated: Dec 22, 2017 19:43 IST
Prasun Sonwalkar
Prasun Sonwalkar
Hindustan Times, London
Asha Bhosle,Asha Bhosle restaurant,Asha Bhosle in UK
Singer Asha Bhosle poses with her wax statue during its unveiling at Madame Tussauds in New Delhi.(PTI file photo)

Britain’s advertising watchdog has rapped Asha’s, a restaurant chain promoted by Indian singing legend Asha Bhosle, for selecting winners of a competition not by random chance but selectively by an individual member of its staff.

The chain has several restaurants in the Gulf countries and two popular outlets in Birmingham and Manchester. The fare offered reflects the favourite cuisine and preferences of Bhosle, who is known for her passion for cooking.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) upheld a complaint lodged by an unnamed individual who understood that the prizes had been awarded to the promoter’s friends, and challenged whether the prizes had been awarded in accordance with the laws of chance.

Asha’s Restaurants International Ltd informedASA that the winners of the competition announced on its Facebook page on July 13 were randomly selected by the sales and marketing manager from people who liked the restaurant’s page.

The competition offered five pairs of weekend tickets for the Tatton Park Foodie Festival near Manchester to those who liked and shared the restaurant’s post and page. The winners were to be announced on July 14.

The ASA ruled this weekthat the advertising code was breached on two counts by the way the winners were selected.

It said:“We noted that Asha’s said that the winners of the promotion had been selected at random by the sales and marketing manager. However, we had not seen evidence to demonstrate that the winners had been selected under the supervision of an independent person or that Asha’s had used a verifiably random computer process to select the winner”.

“In the absence of such evidence, we considered that Asha’s had not demonstrated that the prize had been awarded in accordance with the laws of chance or that participants had been dealt with fairly. We therefore concluded that the promotion breached the Code”.

ASA said it told the restaurant to “ensure in future that prizes were awarded in accordance with the laws of chance and, unless winners were selected by a computer process that produced verifiably random results, by an independent person or under the supervision of an independent person”.

Bhosle last visited Britain in September 2016 as part of a Farewell Tour with sell-out performances in Birmingham and London. Then 83, she told journalists and fans that she was unlikely to visit Britain again.

First Published: Dec 22, 2017 19:43 IST