ASA Adjudication on Whitestone Solicitors
187 Yorkshire Road
23 December 2009
An ad on the back of the Thomson Directory was headed "Do you need expert legal advice?" The body copy stated "FOR PROPERTY SALES AND PURCHASES, WILLS, PROBATE AND ACCIDENT CLAIMS Call out specialist solicitors today on 01737 XXX XXX ... ".
Elgee Pinks Solicitors challenged whether the Reigate/Surrey dialing code listed in the ad was misleading, because when they contacted the advertiser they said they did not have an office in that area.
CAP Code (Edition 11)
Whitestone Solicitors said the Reigate/Surrey dialling code had been provided by Thomsons Local and enclosed a letter from them. They said it was common practice for many businesses to use geographical numbers without having an office in that area and the services they offered were not dependent on geography or location. They said their address could be found in the A - Z section of the directory and they had not attempted to mislead readers. They said the local number listed was cheaper than an 0845 number and Ofcom, through their National Telephone Numbering Plan, had permitted telecoms companies to provide out of area geographic numbers for companies who requested one.
The ASA noted the ad contained the dialling code for the Surrey/Reigate area, and Whitestone Solicitors did not have an office there. However, because Whitestone Solicitors provided services that did not necessarily require a local office, but could be done remotely, we did not consider that they needed to state where they traded from and consumers would not be misled by the inclusion of the dialling code. We therefore concluded the ad was not misleading.
We investigated the ad under CAP Code clauses 3.1 (Substantiation) and 7.1 (Truthfulness) but did not find it in breach.
No further action necessary.
Adjudication of the ASA Council (Non-broadcast)