i360 rapped for '˜tallest observation tower' claims

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has told a Brighton seafront attraction that it can no longer claim to be the world's tallest moving observation tower.

Wednesday, 7th March 2018, 10:41 am
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 6:34 am
The British Airways i360 (Photograph: Eddie Mitchell)

A complaint to ASA said the British Airways i360’s claim was misleading, and that ‘there were a number of observational towers with moving platforms that were taller than the i360’.

ASA announced this morning (March 7) it had upheld the complaint, and the i360 would no longer be able to make the claim.

A statement from ASA said: “The ASA considered that consumers would understand ‘the world’s tallest moving observation tower’ to mean the British Airways i360’s observation desk rose to a height higher than any other moving observation tower in the world.

“We noted the British Airways i360 moved a greater distance from the ground up than other towers. However, while the evidence provided by British Airways i360 showed that other moving observation areas rose from halfway up a tower structure and not from the ground, we noted that those towers rose higher into the air than the British Airways i360.

“Because we did not consider the British Airways i360 was taller than other observation towers in the way that consumers would understand it, we therefore concluded the ad was misleading.”

The i360 said it did not claim to have the highest moving observation tower but the tallest, defined as ‘measuring a specified distance from top to bottom’.

In its argument to ASA, the i360 referred to two other observation towers – the Euromast in Rotterdam and the Donauturm in Vienna.

It said the Euromast’s observation deck did not move and was positioned at 100 metres with a rotating glass elevator above it (the Euroscoop) which travelled to 185m.

The Donauturm viewing platform was static with two revolving restaurants at 161.2 and 169.4m did not travel over any distance in height and only revolved. British Airways i360 said that those sections of the Donauturm were marketed as a restaurant, not described as observation pods and were therefore not comparable to the i360.

The i360 moves from the ground up to 135m.

After the ruling, Steve Bax, executive director of British Airways i360: “British Airways i360 has received multiple prestigious awards for innovation, design and the quality of our visitor experience, and while the ASA ruling was disappointing it does not change our position as a world-class attraction which is giving inspiration and delight to hundreds of thousands of people every year.

“The British Airways i360 pod rises from ground level to 138m, covering a longer vertical distance than any other moving viewing platform. We understood this made our attraction the world’s tallest moving observation tower, however the ASA had a different interpretation.”