‘Misleading’ Emmerdale tour advert banned

Inside the Emmerdale Studio Experience on Burley Road, Leeds. Picture by Simon Hulme
Inside the Emmerdale Studio Experience on Burley Road, Leeds. Picture by Simon Hulme
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A television advertisement for an Emmerdale studio tour has been banned for exaggerating the visitor experience.

The ad showed a woman being transported from her kitchen to a field, a costume room and indoor sets from the ITV soap, and finally to the show’s fictional pub, The Woolpack, before a voiceover stated: “Step into the drama. The Emmerdale Studio Experience.”

But in reality, instead of visiting the actual sets of the long-running Yorkshire Dales soap, they would see replicas of sets in old studios in the centre of Leeds.

Responding to two complaints that the ad misleadingly exaggerated the experience, ITV Broadcasting said the sets were exact replicas at a studio where the soap’s interior scenes used to be shot until the majority of filming moved elsewhere.

They said the tour aimed to give visitors an insight into the types of processes involved in the production. ITV said the ad was purposely not a step-by-step guide to what visitors would see, partly because the intention was to keep an element of surprise, and therefore did not say that visitors would tour the actual sets.

The Advertising Standards Authority has now ruled that the ad must not appear again in its current form. It acknowledged there was a “fantastical element” to the ad, “but we considered consumers would understand from the ad that the attraction was an immersive experience which incorporated the various experiences depicted”. An ITV spokeswoman said: “The advertisement for the Emmerdale Studio Experience went through the usual clearance processes for television commercials and was approved for transmission by Clearcast.”