Summary of Council decision:
Two issues were investigated, both of which were Upheld.
A website, www.pinkpanthermodels.com, for the webcam model recruitment and training agency Pink Panther Models was seen on 10 March 2022.
Text on the website’s home page stated “Pink Panther Models are a leading international webcam model recruitment and training agency … We pride ourselves on helping hundreds of models earn £1000’s [sic] online every day”. Further text stated “… there are zero start up fee’s [sic] and once applied you could be earning £££’s within a matter of hours! What are you waiting for? Become a Webcam Model Today”.
Text on the “about” section of the website stated “We have over 25 years [sic] experience and are one of the fastest growing adult webcam modelling agencies in the UK … With our training, support and guidance our models are earning anything up to £2000 a week and you can too”.
Two complainants, who understood that the agency had only existed for a brief period of time, challenged whether the following claims were misleading and could be substantiated:
1. that models were “earning anything up to £2000 a week” and that Pink Panther Models helped “hundreds of models earn £1000’s [sic] online every day; and
2. “We have over 25 years [sic] experience”.
ResponsePink Panther Models did not respond to the ASA’s enquiries.
1. & 2. Upheld
The ASA was concerned by Pink Panther Models lack of response and apparent disregard for the Code, which was a breach of CAP Code (Edition 12) rule (Unreasonable delay). We reminded them of their responsibility to respond promptly to our enquiries and told them to do so in future.
We considered that consumers would understand from the claims made on the website that models represented by Pink Panther Models would be able to earn the sums quoted, and that hundreds of models had done so by working for the organisation. We also considered that consumers would understand from the ad that the organisation had 25 years of relevant experience in the sector.
The Code required marketers to hold documentary evidence to prove claims that consumers were likely to regard as objective and that were capable of objective substantiation. In the absence of any evidence to show that the earnings claims could be substantiated, or that the organisation had over 25 years’ experience in the sector, we concluded that both claims were 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) 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 ads must not appear again in their current form. We told Pink Panther Models to ensure that any earning claims made in their advertising could be substantiated. We also told them to ensure that any statements regarding the history of the organisation were accurate and could be substantiated. We referred the matter to the CAP Compliance team.