A tweet from Cycle Safety Technologies, a traffic monitoring app for drivers and cyclists, posted on 11 February 2019, stated “We confirm that cycle safety technology app Is for all road users. If a cyclist Is not using the app but a driver Is using the app the responsibility rest [sic] with the cyclist. All accidents that happen are look [sic] at on the evidence available.”
The complainant, who believed it was incorrect to state that using the product would absolve motorists involved in accidents with cyclists, challenged whether the tweet was misleading.
Cycle Safety Technologies Ltd provided some initial comments by telephone but did not provide a substantive response to the ASA’s enquiries.
The ASA was concerned by Cycle Safety Technologies’ lack of response and apparent disregard for the Code, which was a breach of CAP Code (Edition 12) rule 1.7 (Unreasonable delay). We reminded them of their responsibility to provide a substantive response to our enquiries and told them to do so in future.
We understood that the Cycle Safety Technologies traffic monitoring app was aimed at cyclists and vehicle drivers and communicated a user’s position on a map to any other nearby users logged in. For example, we understood it would indicate to drivers using the app when a cyclist also using the app was cycling near their vehicle.
We acknowledged that the claim “We confirm that cycle safety technology app Is for all road users. If a cyclist Is not using the app but a driver Is using the app the responsibility rest [sic] with the cyclist. All accidents that happen are look [sic] at on the evidence available” appeared in a thread on the advertisers’ own Twitter feed and considered that consumers seeing the claim would be likely to have some familiarity with the purpose of the app. We considered that they would understand from the claim that any vehicle drivers using the app would be absolved of responsibility in the case of a traffic incident or accident involving their vehicle and a cyclist, regardless of how that incident occurred or by whom it was caused, and that drivers using the app would not be liable for any repercussions, such as subsequent legal action.
We noted we had not seen any evidence which supported the claim that the app would ensure a user was not liable in the case of a traffic incident or subsequent action.
We also noted that, amongst other Twitter users, the verified account for Surrey Police’s Roads Policing Unit (Traffic) (@SurreyRoadCops) and the account for West Midlands Police Road Harm Reduction Team (@WMPRHRT) had indicated that the tweet was not correct on the question of liability in the case of a traffic accident.
We therefore concluded that the claim was misleading, and condoned an unsafe practice.
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), 3.11 3.11 Marketing communications must not mislead consumers by exaggerating the capability or performance of a product. (Exaggeration) and 4.5 4.5 Marketing communications, especially those addressed to or depicting a child, must not condone or encourage an unsafe practice (see Section 5: Children). (Harm and offence).
The claim must not appear again in the form complained of. We told Cycle Safety Technologies Ltd not to imply that the app would absolve users of responsibility in the case of a traffic incident. We referred the matter to CAP's Compliance team.