Claims on www.paidoffers.co.uk, stated: "Want £300+ TAX FREE Per Month? Why would you say no! 1. 10 Minutes 10 minutes a DAY is all it takes! 2. Free Money £50 BONUS on 1st offer Get paid to take out FREE trials! 3. £300+ Per Month Earn £300+ Per Month tax free!"
The complainant challenged whether the earnings claims were misleading and could be substantiated.
Submission Technology t/a Paidoffers.co.uk (PaidOffers) explained that their site was a second generation cashback site. They said the business model had been around for many years and was a proven way for users to interact with offers and receive money back. They explained that users had to complete all 26 offers before they could "cash out" and receive payment, and that that information was clearly set out in the terms and conditions which were available on a dedicated page on their website. They explained, however, that although a number of users had completed all their offers, as yet, none of them had had all of the offers validated. In support of their earnings claims they highlighted that there was a leader board detailing user payouts on their home page. They said that information was correct and represented the amount users would earn as a result of completing offers. In addition they provided a spreadsheet which showed the amount of money consumers were rewarded for completing individual offers.
The ASA noted that the PaidOffers home page included the claims "Want £300+ TAX FREE Per Month", "Free Money", "£300+ Per Month", and "£50 BONUS on 1st offer". We considered that, in the absence of any qualifying text, most consumers would interpret the claims to mean that if they signed up to the scheme and regularly completed offers throughout the month they could expect to receive £300 a month. We acknowledged that the PaidOffers home page included a leader board which showed the amount that users would earn as a result of completing offers. We noted, however, that PaidOffers had not provided any evidence to show that any users had actually been paid for completing all 26 offers. In addition, we noted that PaidOffers were not able to provide evidence to show how long it would take an average user to complete all the offers, have them validated and receive payment, or how representative the earnings figures were for the majority of users. Because PaidOffers had not provided any evidence to show that any of their users had earned £300 per month as a result of completing online offers, we concluded that the earnings claims had not been substantiated and were therefore misleading.
The claims 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), 3.11 3.11 Marketing communications must not mislead consumers by exaggerating the capability or performance of a product. (Exaggeration) and 20.4 20.4 Marketing communications for homework schemes must contain no forecast of earnings if the scheme is new. Marketers may state the likely level of earnings only if it can be supported with evidence of the experience of existing homeworkers. Marketers must not exaggerate the support available to homeworkers. (Homework schemes).
The earnings claims must not appear again in their current form. We told Submission Technology Ltd to ensure that they did not make earnings claims in their advertising unless they had sufficient evidence to substantiate the claims.