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Advertiser: An Post
ASAI Code 7th Edition: 2.4(c), 3.3, 3.4, 4.1, 4.4, 4.9, 4.10, 13.1
The television advertisement opens with a woman walking along the street, she speaks as she walks. Shops are opening for business. A woman comes out of the post office as the woman walking enters. Two businessmen are chatting as they walk. A man is looking at the An Post app on his mobile phone while others pay for items with their An Post money card. There is a view of a child through a window putting money in her piggy bank. Workmen are working putting solar panels on the roof of a house. The woman featured at the start of the advertisement resumes her walk.
The voiceover, that of the woman walking, delivers the following message:
“Ireland is at its best when communities come together. With post offices in every corner of Ireland, at An Post Money we will continue to be on your side. Because when it comes to your money, you deserve more than a bank. From someone you trust. Like a current account that gives you money back. A safe home for your money when you need it. Fast and fair loan approval if you’re going green like these guys (solar panels on roof). You deserve more than a bank for a better future. An Post money for your world”.
The on-screen text at various points throughout the advertisement provides the following information.
“An Post is authorised by the Minister for Finance to provide payment services and is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.
The An Post Money Current Account Debit Mastercard is issued by An Post. Mastercard is a registered trademark, and the circles design is a trademark of Mastercard International Incorporated.
MoneyBack terms and conditions apply. MoneyBack is based on spend with selected Moneyback partners. See anpost.com/money for more details of MoneyBack offer and our selected partners.
Online loan eligibility approval in seconds. An Post acts as a credit intermediary on behalf of Avantcard DAC, who provide loan and credit card services and facilities.
On Post trading as An Post Money is authorised as a credit intermediary by the CCPC. Avantcard trading as Avantcard is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland
Warning: If you do not meet the repayments on your credit agreement, your account will go into arrears. This may affect your credit rating, which may limit your ability to access credit in the future”.
The complainant considered that the advertisement promoted An Post as being “more than a bank” despite the fact that An Post does not hold a banking licence from the Central Bank of Ireland.
The complainant considered that while An Post provided financial services through other entities that were licenced, this was not made clear in the advertisement. They believed, therefore, that the advertisement was misleading and could give rise to consumers believing that An Post was a bank.
The advertisers said that at no point had they claimed in any of their advertising that they were a bank, nor had they sought to imply this. What they had said was consumers deserved “more than a bank.”
They advertisers said they believed they were more than a bank for the following reasons:
1. An Post offered a current account, loans, credit cards, foreign exchange and in every instance they were fully compliant in detailing the provenance of these services. Many of the services which they offered had market leading features & benefits.
2. An Post offered an on demand US dollars or sterling cash service, commission-free to any member of the public. The customer did not need to pre-order or pre-pay. They said that no other financial institution in Ireland offered this service.
3. An Post provided banking services (cash lodgement & withdrawal facilities) on behalf of AIB, Ulster Bank and most recently Bank of Ireland in all their branches. They said that no other financial institution in Ireland offered this service. They offered this service free of charge to consumers.
4. An Post was the exclusive retail channel for NTMA State Savings, Bonds & Certificates products. They said that no other financial institution in Ireland offered this service which represented approximately 20% of the savings market in Ireland.
5. An Post was the exclusive retail channel for the disbursement of Social Welfare cash payments. No other financial institution in Ireland offered this service. They offered this service free of charge to consumers.
6. An Post provided a free to the consumer bill payment service at the counter in all their post offices to any member of the general public. They said that no other financial institution in Ireland offered a comparable service.
7. An Post had the largest retail footprint in Ireland. They said that no other financial institution in Ireland had a comparable retail network reach.
In conclusion the advertisers said that their internal brand equity tracking demonstrated that their brand was held in high esteem amongst the public and in the 2021 Ireland RepTrak report (1), they came third out of 100 organisations.
Complaint not upheld.
The Complaints Committee considered the detail of the complaint and the advertisers’ response.
They noted the detailed information provided on-screen during the course of the advertisement, including the fact that the advertisers were regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.
The Committee considered that when the advertisement was viewed as a whole, it was clear that the banking facilities being provided were licensed through a third party.
Since banking facilities were being provided, alongside additional services, the Committee concluded that the use of the line in the advertisement “more than a bank” was not misleading and did not breach the Code on the basis suggested in the complaint.
No further action required.