Summary of Council decision:
Two issues were investigated, both of which were Upheld.
The website www.manchesterclaims.net, a PPI claims handling company, seen in November 2015, contained text making various claims about the company's service.
Lloyds Banking Group challenged whether the following claims were misleading and could be substantiated:
1. "Our average PPI refund is £3,000"; and
2. "Over 90% success rate".
Manchester Claims Ltd t/a MCL Manchester Claims Ltd did not respond to the ASA’s enquiries.
The ASA was concerned by the lack of response and apparent disregard for the Code by Manchester Claims, which was a breach of CAP Code (Edition 12) rule 1.7 1.7 Any unreasonable delay in responding to the ASA's enquiries will normally be considered a breach of the Code. (Unreasonable delay). We reminded them of their responsibility to respond promptly to our enquiries and told them to do so in future.
1. & 2. We considered consumers were likely to understand from the ad that the average PPI refund Manchester Claims obtained was £3,000, and that they had a 90% success rate in making successful PPI refund claims. However, we had not seen any evidence to demonstrate that was the case and therefore concluded that the ad breached the Code.
The ad breached 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).
The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told Manchester Claims Ltd not to make “average pay out” and success rate claims in future if they were not in a position to substantiate them. We referred the matter to CAP’s Compliance team.