Aviva rebuked by Ofcom over Downton Abbey ads


Aviva has been reprimanded over its "Downton Abbey" sponsorship idents after media regulator Ofcom decided they broke advertising rules.

The 10-second 'idents' were broadcast at the beginning and end of each ad break on the hit ITV show. They told the story of "Gary", an Aviva customer who claimed on his insurance after a motorcycle accident, the injuries of which forced him to retrain for a new career. Sponsorship idents are not technically classed as adverts and so cannot directly advertise products. However, Ofcom ruled Aviva's bumpers were advertisements rather than sponsorship messages, as one scene referred to the benefit of using an Aviva income protection policy. "Credits must not encourage the purchase o...

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