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Product: Business (Home Security)
Medium: Internet (Third Party Website)
ASAI Code 7th Edition: 2.4(c), 3.10, 4.1, 4.4, 4.9, 4.10, 4.31, 4.32, 4.33, 4.34
A post on the advertisers LinkedIn page included the following statement:
“PhoneWatch customers are 4 times safer than any other home security provider according to statistics from the CSO burglary report and PhoneWatch ARC data.
Action 24 objected to the advertisement on the grounds that it was misleading to consumers as they did not consider that it was possible for the claim to be substantiated. They said that they did not see how the advertisers own alarm receiving data could prove that their service was safer than every competitor and they also requested the evidence from the CSO burglary report.
The advertisers failed to provide a response to the complaint.
The Complaints Committee considered the detail of the complaint. The Complaints Committee expressed concern at the advertisers’ failure to respond to the complaint. They reminded them that there is an onus on advertisers to ensure that their advertising is in conformity with the Code.
The Committee noted the Code requirements that marketing communications should not contain claims – whether direct or indirect, expressed or implied – which a consumer would be likely to regard as being objectively true unless the objective truth of the claims can be substantiated (4.9); and that relevant evidence should be sent without delay if requested by the ASAI and should be adequate to support both detailed claims and the overall impression created by the marketing communication (4.10); that comparisons should be fair and should not give rise to a likelihood of a consumer being misled and that when comparisons are used, the basis of selection should be clear and the elements of comparison should not be unfairly selected in a way that gives the advertisers an artificial advantage (4.32) and that; a claim that any product is superior to others should only be made where there is clear evidence to support the claim. Wording which implies superior or superlative status – such as, “number one”, “leading”, “largest”, or similar – should be capable of substantiation with market share data or similar proof (4.33).
They noted that evidence to support the claims in the advertising had not been submitted to the ASAI and in light of this and in the absence of a response from the advertisers, the Committee concluded that the advertisement was in breach of sections 3.10, 4.1, 4.4, 4.9, 4.10, 4.32 and 4.33 of the Code.
The advertising should not reappear in its current form again unless substantiation is provided for the claims made.