The ad for the company also stated “No assumptions, just facts”. Rival company Millennium – which operates the Mortascreen suppression file – challenged the “market leader” claim.
The REaD Group believed it was entitled to say that because independent market research had shown that it was. The company said it had commissioned an independent agency to undertake an anonymous telephone survey of 25 of the UK’s leading marketing data bureaux.
Each bureau was asked to cite the deceased suppression product they believed to be the market leader, based on a number of different aspects of the service including accuracy, reliability, recency, speed of delivery and value for money. The firm said answers were given unprompted and not selected from a list.
The REaD Group provided a table of the overall results of the survey to the Advertising Standards Authority which it said showed TBR leading overall by a small margin. It believed that the data supported the claim in the ad.
But the ASA ruled that “market leader” was an objective claim, capable of substantiation in the form of comparative evidence, which measured the speed and accuracy of The REaD Group’s data against that of its competitors.
The regulator did not consider that the results of a telephone survey, which obtained the subjective impressions of the respondents only, was suitably robust evidence to substantiate the claim.
The ASA concluded that the ad was misleading and ruled that it must not be run again.
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