Background

Misleading Advertising:  Sophora Media Ltd t/a Swoggi breaches UK ad rules for not making clear its editorials are adverts on: http://ww2.moneyexpert360.com/ms/saving-tips/how-to-get-a-90-percent-discount-on-an-ipad-imac-or-iphone.php, http://ww2.moneyexpert360.com/conso/how-to-get-a-90-percent-discount-on-an-ipad-imac-or-iphone/.

The ads are presented as news stories and headlined “Can you really save up to 90% on brand new iPhone 7, iPad Pro and MacBooks?”  They then describe the reviewers’ positive experience of Swoggi and how discounts “can go up to 90% of the retail value”.  In both examples, the reviewers claimed: “So I joined an auction for the iPad Pro 1… to win it for only £57.76” and “A brand new, still under warranty Apple iPad Pro worth more than £400 in retail, for less than £60”.

In 2017, the ASA investigated a similar advertorial for Swoggi and considered, among other issues, that the overall presentation and content of the website implied that it was an independent, third-party consumer news site and that the articles about Swoggi were genuine reviews written by journalists.  Although certain articles on the MoneyExpert£ website had been labelled as ‘Advertorials’, the ASA considered this was not sufficient to counteract the overall impression that the website and the articles were independent editorial pieces written by an independent party.  Because this was not the case, and the piece was not clearly marked as an advertorial, the ASA considered it was not clear that the ad was a marketing communication and concluded that it was misleading.

Despite requests to ensure that advertorials are marked clearly in future, Swoggi continues to feature the ads on the http://ww2.moneyexpert360.com/ms website.  Because of Swoggi’s continued non-compliance, we took the decision on 29 August 2017 to place its company details on this section of the ASA website.  These details shall remain in place until such time as Swoggi has removed or appropriately amended the advertorials to ensure compliance with the CAP Code.

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