A TV ad for JamJar.com, a car buying comparison site, seen on 31 January 2020, featured a scene showing a man sitting in a vehicle scrolling through car valuations on JamJar's website on a smartphone. This was followed by a scene of a woman scrolling though similar listings on a laptop. The listings shown featured valuations for cars alongside the names of companies offering those valuations. An accompanying voiceover stated, "[W]e don't need your email, your telephone number, or even your name to give you the valuations you're looking for".
IssueThe complainant, who understood that in order to see the companies offering the valuations listed, consumers had to set up an account by providing their personal details, challenged whether the claim "[W]e don't need your email, your telephone number, or even your name to give you the valuations you're looking for" was misleading.
ResponseGrapevine Europe Ltd t/a JamJar.com said the ad stated that viewers would not need to provide their name, telephone number or email address to receive a valuation. However, the ad did not state that no personal information would be needed, since a viewer’s car registration plate number, vehicle mileage, MOT histories, and other similar information would be required to generate a valuation. They said the valuations and company logos shown in the ad were figurative examples of part of JamJar’s website, to reassure viewers that the valuations had not been arrived at arbitrarily. Clearcast said that at the time the ad was cleared, they had understood that viewers using the website would not be required to enter any of their personal information or private data to obtain comparative purchase, valuations, quotation prices and the advert was representative of the process to obtain a vehicle valuation.
The ASA considered viewers would understand the claim “[W]e don't need your email, your telephone number, or even your name to give you the valuations you're looking for”, accompanied by visuals of people using JamJar’s website that showed valuations listed alongside the logos and names of the companies offering those valuations, to mean that they could obtain vehicle valuations, as well as the names of the companies offering those valuations, without needing to provide their name, telephone number, or email address.
We understood that in order to receive vehicle valuations viewers had to provide their car registration number, vehicle mileage, MOT history, service history, and collection postcode. We considered that most consumers would expect this information would be required in order for a valuation to be generated. However, while we acknowledged that viewers could see valuations in and of themselves without providing their personal details, to view the names of the companies offering the valuations, viewers needed to provide their full name, full address, email address, and telephone number in order to set up an account with JamJar. Once that information had been provided and an account had been created, viewers could see the companies offering the valuations.
Because viewers had to provide their full name, telephone number, and email address in order to fully use JamJar’s services, we concluded the ad was misleading. The ad breached CAP Code (Edition 12) 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).
The as must not be broadcast again in the form complained about. We told Grapevine Europe Ltd t/a JamJar.com to ensure that their future marketing communications did not mislead consumers about what personal information was needed to obtain valuations from their website.