ASA warns sports bar over promotional texts

By Adam Pescod

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Sports bar, Text messaging

Unsolicited text: ASA received one complaint
Unsolicited text: ASA received one complaint
A sports bar in the West Midlands was warned by the ASA after sending an unsolicited text message promoting Arsenal v Barcelona.

The licensee of a West Midlands sports bar is outraged after the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) warned him about sending unsolicited text messages to customers.

Wayne Etheridge, who oversaw the £250,000 refurbishment of The Cross Sports Bar in Oldswinford in 2005, told The Publican's Morning Advertiser he feels 'victimised' by the warning imposed by the ASA.

The charge was made after a customer complained about being sent a text message advertising the Barcelona v Arsenal football match on 8 March.

The complainant said she had been sent the message despite previously being told her number had been removed from the pub's marketing list.

ASA deemed that the pub had broken rules because it failed to prove that the complainant had ever signed up for promotional texts, but it welcomed Cross Sports Bar's assurance that the number had been removed from their database.

The ruling comes following a series of previous disputes between the pub and Dudley Council over marquees and a sandwich van parked in the car park, as well as a feud with the town's Conservative MP Margot James who encouraged residents to report anti-social behaviour in and around the sports bar.

Asked whether he thought he was being targeted, licensee Wayne Etheridge responded: "Absolutely."

He went on to say: "I feel like I'm being victimised and that this was part of it but how can I prove it? It's absolutely ridiculous.

"It costs the pub money to print off the numerous sheets of paper with the names of all those who have signed up to text alerts, and to send the texts.

"Maybe I should have kept a record as at the end of the day I didn't have the evidence to fight my case."

Related topics: Sport

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