The website www.solutionfortimeshare.com featured several testimonials. Similar testimonials, with different names and locations, also appeared on the Swedish version of their website www.slappdintimeshare.com.
KwikChex challenged whether the testimonials on the websites were genuine.
Solution for Timeshare did not respond to the ASA's enquiries.
The ASA was concerned by Solution for Timeshare'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 noted that Solution for Timeshare had provided no evidence relating to the veracity of either the English or Swedish testimonials or why they appeared similar. Because we had not seen evidence to demonstrate that the testimonials were genuine, we concluded that 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), 3.45 3.45 Marketers must hold documentary evidence that a testimonial or endorsement used in a marketing communication is genuine, unless it is obviously fictitious, and hold contact details for the person who, or organisation that, gives it. 3.46 3.46 Testimonials must relate to the advertised product. and 3.48 3.48 Marketing communications must not feature a testimonial without permission; exceptions are normally made for accurate statements taken from a published source, quotations from a publication or references to a test, trial, professional endorsement, research facility or professional journal, which may be acceptable without express permission. (Endorsements and testimonials).
The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told Solution for Timeshare to ensure that they held evidence that their testimonials were genuine. We referred the matter to CAP's Compliance team.