A TV ad for an extended warranty provider, viewed in July 2011, featured a male presenter who said, "If you're driving a car that's no longer under warranty you could find repairing it gets very expensive. Don't leave it to chance. Warranty Direct offers you comprehensive cover at a competitive price ... It might just save you a fortune. So if your warranty's about to expire or your car's no longer protected make sure you're covered".
A viewer challenged whether the claim "comprehensive cover" was misleading, because they believed the policy contained a number of exclusions.
Warranty Direct said they had provided car warranties since 1997 and continually assessed the market to ensure they always offered the most comprehensive warranty cover possible. They explained that 'Comprehensive cover' was a term generally used in the extended warranty market to describe broad or extensive cover, but that it did not cover every eventuality. They said an extended warranty would only cover the sudden failure of a mechanical or electrical component. Warranty Direct explained that their warranties covered areas that were not generally covered by other providers, such as failures as a result of wear and tear, an uninsured part damaging an insured part (consequential damage), and failures identified at the time of service or MOT. They sent links to manufacturers' own comprehensive warranties, which they said also featured numerous exclusions. Warranty Direct said the ad featured on-screen text that clearly stated that terms and conditions applied.
Clearcast said they endorsed Warranty Direct's comments. They said the term 'comprehensive cover' was used to refer to services that covered the majority of areas, and they did not believe there was any comprehensive warranty currently available that provided 100% of cover in all circumstances.
The ASA considered that most consumers would understand that a comprehensive warranty would cover most circumstances in which a warranty might be needed but not all, and that some exclusions would apply. We noted that Warranty Direct's comprehensive policy covered the main areas generally included in comprehensive warranties, as well some additional features. We therefore concluded that the claim "comprehensive cover" had been substantiated and was not misleading.
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), 3.10 3.10 Advertisements must state significant limitations and qualifications. Qualifications may clarify but must not contradict the claims that they qualify. (Qualification) and 3.12 3.12 Advertisements must not mislead by exaggerating the capability or performance of a product or service. (Exaggeration) but did not find it in breach.
No further action necessary.