ASA Adjudication on 288 Group Ltd
288 Group Ltd t/a
Coin Portfolio Management
1 Aston Way
19 September 2012
Number of complaints:
Space & Time Media Ltd
A national press ad for Coin Portfolio Management advertised a gold coin. The ad was headed "Rising Gold Price Coincides with the issue of new 2012 Gold Krugerrand" and stated "As any investor will tell you, the last few years have been very difficult with record low interest rates and weak stock markets making it increasingly difficult for anyone to see a sensible return on their money. However throughout that period gold prices have surged ahead. If you had bought one ounce of gold at the beginning of September 2008 - just before the fateful crash of Lehman Brothers - you would have paid £450.00. 3 and a half years on that same ounce is worth around £1,000 ... It is against this background that Coin Portfolio Management is pleased to announce the release of the new 2012 South African Gold Krugerrand Coin, struck from a quarter ounce of solid 22 Carat Gold. The Krugerrand is recognised throughout the world because of its impressive metal content and also as a result of its historical significance. Indeed, these factors have helped it become the most famous gold coin in the world and as a consequence it has become the coin of choice for collectors and investors alike. The new 2012 Gold Krugerrand is available through Coin Portfolio Management for just £345 (+p&p) ...". Prominent text to the side stated "struck from a quarter ounce of solid 22 Carat Gold".
A reader challenged whether the ad was misleading because the coin being sold contained a quarter of an ounce of gold only, whereas they believed a Krugerrand contained an ounce of gold.
CAP Code (Edition 12)
Coin Portfolio Management (CPM) said the term "Krugerrand" was regarded as a generic term for all coins in the series of annual "Krugerrands" that were issued each year by the South African Mint. They supplied information issued by the South African Mint Company which, under the heading "Krugerrand", listed the weight and dimensions of 1 oz, 1/2 oz, 1/4 oz and 1/10 oz coins. They supplied information from the Rand Refinery (a commercial company in South Africa involved in refining and smelting precious metals) which stated that the Krugerrand was originally issued in 1967 in 1 oz size but that, since 1980, 1/2, 1/4 and 1/10 oz sizes had also been issued. CPM believed it was justified to refer to all sizes as "Krugerrand". They said that the ad had stated in two places, one of which was highlighted as a headline, the phrase "struck from a quarter ounce of solid 22 Carat Gold", and that the weight of the coin - 8.482 g - was stated under the image of the coin, all of which they believed removed any ambiguity regarding the weight of the coin.
The ASA noted that the information from the South African Mint and the Rand Refinery used "Krugerrand" as a generic term that related both to all coin sizes and individual coin sizes. We considered that some readers might have expectations or knowledge that the Krugerrand was originally issued in 1 oz size only. Whether or not readers had prior knowledge of Krugerrands, however, we noted that text stated in two places, one of which was very prominent, that the coin for sale was "struck from a quarter ounce of solid 22 Carat Gold" and that text on the image of the coin stated "1/4 OZ FINE GOLD". Because of that, we considered the ad stated the size of the coin for sale sufficiently clearly and concluded that it was not misleading.
We investigated the ad under CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 3.1 and 3.3 (Misleading advertising) and 3.9 (Qualification) but did not find it in breach.
No further action necessary.