A website for IT hardware retailer HardDisk Direct, www.harddiskdirect.co.uk, seen on 9 November 2020, displayed the Trustpilot Five Star logo alongside text that stated “4.7 Star Rating on Trustpilot ... From Over 11,000 Customer Reviews”.
IssueThe complainant, who understood that HardDisk Direct held a rating of 2.5 stars on the Trustpilot customer review platform, challenged whether the ad was misleading.
ResponseHardDisk Direct Ltd said that they had changed their website to remove the claim and Trustpilot logo.
The ASA noted Trustpilot was a website that allowed consumers to review businesses and give them ratings out of five stars. We considered that consumers would understand the five-star logo and the claim "4.7 Star Rating on Trustpilot ... From Over 11,000 Customer Reviews", when taken together, to mean that HardDisk Direct held an average rating of 4.7 stars out of five on the Trustpilot business rating platform, rounded up to five out of five in the logo, and that rating was based on 11,000 customer reviews. However, we understood that HardDisk Direct in fact held a rating of two stars out of five on Trustpilot’s website at the time the complainant had seen the ad, and that score was based on 50 customer reviews. We welcomed HardDisk Direct's removal of the claim and Truspilot logo from their website. However, because the logo and claim taken together gave the impression that HardDisk Direct held a five-star rating on Trustpilot when they did not, we therefore concluded the ad was misleading.
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 the form complained about. We told HardDisk Direct Ltd to ensure that their future marketing communications contained up-to-date scores from third-party review websites.