A TV ad, for multi-car insurance, showed three cartoon vehicles, including what appeared to be an army jeep.
The complainant, who said he was not able to insure his Land Rover because the advertiser did not class it as a car, challenged whether the depiction of the jeep was misleading.
Admiral Insurance Services Ltd (Admiral) said the animated vehicle featured in the ad was simply a representation of a generic four-wheel drive, rather than an exact reference to any specific vehicle. They said they insured an extensive range of Land Rover models including varieties by type, engine size and year of manufacture. They said they also insured Jeeps, which were more similar in design to the generic vehicle depicted in the ad. They submitted a spreadsheet which they said showed the various brands and models of four-wheel drives they currently covered, and believed that this demonstrated that they insured a substantial amount of them.
Clearcast said because Admiral had claimed that they insured an extensive range of Land Rover models and Jeeps, they did not believe the ad was misleading.
The voice-over stated, "If you've got more than one car, you could get a better deal by insuring all your cars on one Admiral multi-car policy." Three cartoon vehicles were then featured, one of which appeared to be a four-wheel drive. The ASA considered that viewers would understand from this that the ad promoted the advertiser's multi-car insurance and that four-wheel drives could be insured under that policy.
Admiral indicated that they insured Land Rovers and Jeeps and the spreadsheet listed various four-wheel drives. However, we did not receive any documentary evidence demonstrating that four-wheel drives were able to be insured under the advertised multi-car insurance policy. In the absence of such evidence we concluded that the depiction of the jeep was misleading.
The ad breached BCAP Code rules
Advertisements must not materially mislead or be likely to do so.
Advertisements must not mislead consumers by omitting material information. They must not mislead by hiding material information or presenting it in an unclear, unintelligible, ambiguous or untimely manner.
Material information is information that consumers need in context to make informed decisions about whether or how to buy a product or service. Whether the omission or presentation of material information is likely to mislead consumers depends on the context, the medium and, if the medium of the advertisement is constrained by time or space, the measures that the advertiser takes to make that information available to consumers by other means. (Misleading advertising), 3.9 3.9 Broadcasters must hold documentary evidence to prove claims that the audience is 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) and 3.10 3.10 Advertisements must state significant limitations and qualifications. Qualifications may clarify but must not contradict the claims that they qualify. (Qualification).
The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told Admiral Insurance Services Ltd not to feature the jeep, or any other similar four-wheel drives in future ads for their multi-car insurance, unless they held documentary evidence to demonstrate that those types of vehicles could be insured under that policy.