A TV ad promoted Direct Line Car Insurance. The ad showed a woman in a car park inspecting damage caused to her car by another driver. A man drove up in another car and stated, "Winston Wolf, I'm here to help ... Do me a favour and send your photographs to my people. They'll take the car in and fix it within seven days or someone will pay ... Direct Line will pay you £10 a day until the job is done." As the man asked the woman to send photos of the damage to Direct Line, on-screen text appeared and stated "£10 payment starts on day 8 & is limited to £70. To meet our high quality & safety standards some repairs will take longer". During the final scene text in the centre of the screen stated "CARS REPAIRED WITHIN 7 DAYS", followed by "OR WE PAY YOU £10 A DAY UP TO A LIMIT OF £70".
Nine complainants challenged whether the claim "They'll take the car and fix it within seven days or ... Direct Line will pay you £10 a day until the job is done" was misleading, because it was contradicted by the on-screen text that stated "£10 payment ... is limited to £70".
UK Insurance Ltd t/a Direct Line stated that the vast majority of claims were resolved within the timeframe relevant to the £70 payment cap. They said the £70 payment cap had been included in the on-screen text as a clarification of the upper limit of the payments that would be made, and was not a contradiction. They also noted that the on-screen text present whilst "Winston Wolf" spoke about the payments had been written in a larger font size than would normally be required, and that the reference to the £70 cap had been added to the end title frames of the ad so as to increase the prominence of this message.
Clearcast considered that the on-screen text highlighted the statement by "Winston Wolf" that Direct Line would pay "£10 per day until the job [was] done" and qualified that by referencing the £70 limit. They believed that viewers would correctly understand that, if Direct Line were unable to fix their car within seven days, they would pay £10 per day until it was fixed, with a £70 limit. They also commented that only a very low percentage of cars wouldn't be able to be fixed within seven days and therefore it was likely that the viewer would not be affected by the payment cap.
The ASA considered that viewers would understand from "Winston Wolf's" claim "Direct Line will pay you £10 a day until the job is done" (if the car couldn't be fixed within seven days) that the payments were not limited to any set period and instead would continue until such time as the fault was repaired. However, we noted that on-screen text appearing slightly earlier in the ad referenced the maximum payment of £70. Moreover, Winston Wolf's statement was immediately followed by the end frames of the ad, in which large text in the centre of the screen stated "CARS REPAIRED WITHIN 7 DAYS" and, subsequently, "OR WE PAY YOU £10 A DAY UP TO A LIMIT OF £70". We were satisfied that the clarity and prominence of that description of the offer was such that Winston Wolf's statement was adequately clarified within the ad. We considered that, when viewed as a whole, the ad was unlikely to mislead viewers about the existence of a cap on the payments they might receive. On that basis, we concluded that the ad was not in breach of the Code.
We investigated the ad under BCAP Code rules
Advertisements must not materially mislead or be likely to do so.
Advertisements must not mislead consumers by omitting material information. They must not mislead by hiding material information or presenting it in an unclear, unintelligible, ambiguous or untimely manner.
Material information is information that consumers need in context to make informed decisions about whether or how to buy a product or service. Whether the omission or presentation of material information is likely to mislead consumers depends on the context, the medium and, if the medium of the advertisement is constrained by time or space, the measures that the advertiser takes to make that information available to consumers by other means. (Misleading advertising) and 3.10 3.10 Advertisements must state significant limitations and qualifications. Qualifications may clarify but must not contradict the claims that they qualify. (Qualification), but did not find it in breach.
No further action necessary.