Claims on www.crystallegal.com, seen on 2 October 2015, which promoted a PPI refund service, stated "The Sure Claim Facts!". Underneath, smaller text stated "The average from PPI our clients win: £3,516.2**…** Win amount correct from March 2015".
Lloyds Banking Group challenged whether the claim was misleading and could be substantiated.
Crystal Legal Services Ltd provided a list of successful claimants. This detailed the individual claims, the organisation the claim had been made against and on which product the PPI had been paid, along with the amount that had been won on the claimants behalf. At the top of the document was a calculation that showed the total amount that had been claimed divided by the total number of claimants, this produced an average win amount per person of £3,516.27.
We considered that consumers reading the ad would be likely to understand from “the average from PPI our clients win” that the total average win, per claimant, was £3,516.20, as of March 2015. We considered that consumers would be likely to understand from the use of the word “average” that the amount they could “win” might be higher or lower than that figure.
We noted that the web page stated “You’ll only need to pay if we successfully recover money for you” and, in combination with the word “win”, we considered it was clear that a fee would be payable and that the fee would be taken from the quoted average win value.
We noted that the evidence provided by Crystal Legal Services detailed individual claims from July 2010 to March 2015, which showed that the mean pay-out per claimant, prior to a fee being paid, was £3,516.27. Although the results showed a large range in the amount paid out, the amounts were evenly spread with a significant number of claimants securing close to the mean win amount.
Because we considered that Crystal Legal Services was able to substantiate its claim, correct as of March 2015, that the average win per claimant was £3,516.27, we concluded that the ad was not misleading.
We investigated the ad under CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 3.1 3.1 Marketing communications must not materially mislead or be likely to do so. (Misleading advertising) and 3.7 3.7 Before distributing or submitting a marketing communication for publication, marketers must hold documentary evidence to prove claims that consumers are likely to regard as objective and that are capable of objective substantiation. The ASA may regard claims as misleading in the absence of adequate substantiation. (Substantiation), but did not find it in breach.
No further action necessary.