The advertising watchdog has ordered a personal injury firm to stop a television advertisement offering £2,000 up-front for cases after ruling that it was misleading.
The Advertising Standards Authority said Liverpool firm Hampson Hughes broke three code rules after not making it clear the offer would apply only to cases worth £3,000 or more.
The firm argued that the advertisement included on-screen text stating ‘Ts and Cs apply’ and consumers would understand the payment would be made only if cases were accepted.
But the ASA said the exclusion of claims based on their value constituted misleading advertising, qualification and exaggeration.
The report added: ‘The ad implied that all cases accepted by Hampson Hughes would receive an up-front payment of £2,000 when that was not the case, and because the ad excluded a significant limitation to the offer, we concluded that the ad was misleading.’
The advertisement had been given the green light in advance by standards monitor Clearcast after it deemed on-screen text to be sufficient and that other conditions did not need to be explicitly mentioned.
The voiceover in the ad stated: ‘Accidents are never nice, but the £2,000 up-front on accepted cases from Hampson Hughes will make them a lot easier to deal with. Hampson Hughes. Finally something to feel good about.’
The ASA investigated after a complaint. Following the ruling, the advertisement, which featured two costumed characters walking down the street, one of whom tripped over an exposed drain, must not be broadcast again in its current form.
The ASA told Hampson Hughes not to imply in future advertising that an offer was available for all customers if that was not the case, and to make clear any significant limitations and qualifications to offers made.
A spokesperson for the firm said the advertisement had not been broadcast since December.