RANGERS have been cleared by advertising watchdogs for a second time for using an advert describing itself as the ‘most successful’ club in Scotland.
The Ibrox club have been given permission to use the slogan following a final decision by the Advertising Standards Authority(ASA).
The watchdog began a probe earlier this year after 82 people complained about the ads which said “Join Scotland’s most successful club at Ibrox” as part of a promotion on season tickets.
Critics claimed the slogan was misleading because oldco Gers went into liquidation last year.
Sir Hayden Phillips, who acts as independent reviewer of ASA adjudications said there were flaws in the way the decision was made.
He said there had been a ‘procedural flaw’ in that the ASA relied on an ‘extract only’ of a report sent to it by Rangers.
The club provided an extract from a decision by an independent commission appointed by the Scottish Premier League (SPL), which said the club still existed ‘despite its transfer to another owner and operator’.
The ASA have now viewed the report in full and in an adjudication published yesterday(WED) cleared the advert for use.
The watchdog said: “Whilst the ASA acknowledged that Newco had not taken on all of the debts and liabilities of Oldco when it purchased its assets and that that would normally preclude a business from trading on the reputation of a liquidated predecessor company, we noted, having read its report in full, that both an Independent Commission appointed by the SPL and the European Club Association had reached the conclusion that the football club RFC was a recognisable entity in its own right, and that it had continued in existence despite being transferred to another owner and operator.
“We considered that consumers would understand that the claim in question related to the football club rather than to its owner and operator and we therefore concluded that it was not misleading for the ad to make reference to RFC’s history, which was separate to that of Newco.”
Rangers told the ASA they felt that, given their history, the claim “Scotland’s most successful club” was valid and would not mislead.