Summary of Council decision:
Two issues were investigated, both of which were Upheld.
A directory ad for a roofing company stated "Stockport's Flat Roof Specialists". Text below stated "Rubberbond EPDM System. With 20 Year Guarantee". The ad also featured a logo for the "FEDERATION OF MASTER BUILDERS FMB".
One complainant challenged whether:
1. the claim "With 20 Year Guarantee" was misleading and could be substantiated; and
2. the logo misleadingly implied the advertiser was a member of the Federation of Master Builders.
Low Cost Building Maintenance Ltd did not respond to the ASA's enquiries.
1. & 2. Upheld
The ASA was concerned by Low Cost Building Maintenance Ltd's lack of response and apparent disregard for the Code, 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 we told them to do so in future.
We considered consumers would interpret the claim "With 20 Year Guarantee" to mean that the product being promoted in the ad came with a guarantee of 20 years. We had seen no evidence from the advertiser that the consumer would receive a 20-year guarantee on the product as part of the purchase. Therefore, we considered the advertiser had not substantiated the claim made in the ad.
The ad also featured a logo which stated "FEDERATION OF MASTER BUILDERS FMB". We considered consumers would interpret the logo to mean that the advertiser was a member of the Federation of Master Builders. We had seen no evidence to demonstrate that was the case. For that reason, we concluded the ad was misleading.
On that point, 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), 3.7 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) and 3.50 3.50 Marketing communications must not display a trust mark, quality mark or equivalent without the necessary authorisation. Marketing communications must not claim that the marketer (or any other entity referred to), the marketing communication or the advertised product has been approved, endorsed or authorised by any public or other body if it has not or without complying with the terms of the approval, endorsement or authorisation. (Endorsements and Testimonials).
The advertising must not appear again in its current form. We told Low Cost Building Maintenance Ltd to ensure they held evidence to substantiate claims made about guarantees and logos that implied membership to a trade association in their advertising. We referred the matter to CAP's Compliance team.