Lloyds and websites get ASA slap

Lloyds TSB has taken a battering from the Advertising Standards Authority, with the regulator banning two responsive TV ads by Rainey Kelly after ruling they were both misleading.
The first ad, for Lloyds TSB’s Money Manager service – a scheme designed to help consumers manage their finances more effectively – sparked complaints that the service was not available in some areas, despite the ads running nationwide.
A second ad, for home insurance, showed a cartoon man coming home to find that he had been burgled. The ad showed him picking up a letter from Lloyds TSB titled “Personal Claims Consultant” and the man was subsequently visited by a Personal Claims Consultant.
A viewer challenged whether the claim that Lloyds TSB would send customers a Personal Claims Consultant was misleading, because when they made a claim a consultant was not allocated to them. The ad did include text to say this was at the discretion of the bank, although the ASA did not believe this was clear enough.
The watchdog ruled at both ads were misleading and neither could run again in its current form.
The ASA has also flexed its muscle against website claims, enforcing its recently acquired new powers by forcing five companies to remove misleading product descriptions.
From March 1, the regulator expanded its remit to probe all claims made by companies on websites and social networks, not just paid-for ads, meaning the ASA can police what companies say about themselves online in any statement that can be interpreted as marketing.
Although the five miscreants – CompareBulkSMSPrices, Nathans Natural, Karate Leadership UK, First Bathrooms, and Powerhouse Worldwide – are not exactly household names, the clampdown will send out a warning to all brands to get their sites in order.

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