ASA probes death data bust-up

grave 2The Advertising Standards Authority is set to rule on whether The REaD Group can claim that its Bereavement Register is “the market leader for fast accurate deceased suppression data”, following a complaint from a rival company.
The complaint made by Millennium Group – which operates The Mortascreen File – refers to an online ad run by The REaD Group.
There is no love lost between the two firms, who, according to industry sources, are both trying to prove they have the most up-to-date and comprehensive deceaseds’ file.
The Mortascreen File, owned by Smee & Ford and managed by Millennium, claims to add 50,000 new records a month, and includes probate information from England, Wales and Scotland, as well as other sources of deceased data. It says it accounts for nearly 95 per cent of all deaths in the UK. The file holds about 8.5 million names, dating back to 1989.
Meanwhile, The REaD Group (UK) began The Bereavement Register in 2000, and claims to get monthly updates of between 10,000 and 30,000 records, with information fed through from a variety of sources including funeral directors, solicitors and a dedicated call centre. It holds just over 3 million records but claims its service is quicker to the market as it is not reliant on probate records.
The ASA ruling is expected this week.
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