A paid-for ad on www.msn.com for equityreleaseplus.co.uk, seen on 25 January 2021, included the text “Martin Lewis Equity Release Calculator - Release Cash From Your Home” which linked to equityreleaseplus.co.uk.
IssueThe ASA challenged whether the ad misleadingly implied that equityreleaseplus.co.uk was affiliated with Martin Lewis.
ResponsePerson(s) unknown t/a equityreleaseplus.co.uk did not respond to the ASA’s enquiries.
The ASA was concerned by equityreleaseplus.co.uk’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 provide a substantive response to our enquiries and told them to do so in future. We considered that consumers would understand that the ad was for a financial product by Martin Lewis and the lack of any other information which gave context to the claim “Martin Lewis Equity Release Calculator - Release Cash From Your Home” implied that the product was linked to equityreleaseplus.co.uk, which we understood was not the case. We therefore concluded that the ad was misleading.
The ad breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rule 3.1 3.1 Marketing communications must not materially mislead or be likely to do so. (Misleading advertising).
The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told Person(s) unknown t/a equityreleaseplus.co.uk to ensure they did not imply their service was associated with Martin Lewis or any specific individual unless that was the case. We passed the matter to CAP’s Compliance team.