Advertising for ‘Land Rover motor insurance’ included a footnote with the registered number and address for Royal & Sun Alliance. Did this prevent the ad from misleadingly implying that Land Rover were the insurers, not R&SA? As joint offerings like this are getting increasingly popular, we report at
Land Rover Financial Services and the Advertising Standards Authority
The Advertising Standards Authority reached a "complaint upheld" finding in respect of a magazine advertisement for motor insurance headlined "It's more than insurance – it's assurance."
The ad showed a Land Rover driving off-road and stuck in mud and included the text "Land Rover motor insurance has been developed by Land Rover Financial Services, exclusively for Land Rover owners."
The ad included a comparison table headed "Compare Land Rover Motor Insurance with your existing provider," under the heading "Land Rover Motor Insurance," the text dealt with various advantages of the advertised cover. Other features of competing products appeared under the heading "other insurers."
The principal complaint in respect of this ad was that it misleadingly suggested that the insurers in question were Land Rover, whereas in reality they were Royal & Sun Alliance.
The advertisers, Land Rover Financial Services, argued that the policy being advertised was the only private motor insurance product available in the market that was fully endorsed by Land Rover UK and Land Rover Financial Services. They said they had chosen Royal & Sun Alliance to underwrite the product. They believed, however, that because the ad included a footnote with the registered number and address for Royal & Sun Alliance, the advertisement made it clear that R&SA were the underwriters for the insurance scheme.
The ASA was not persuaded that this was sufficient to allay the impression given by the advertisement as a whole that Land Rover Financial Services, not R&SA, underwrote the insurance policy being advertised. Because this was not true, the Authority welcomed the advertiser's assurance that they would amend the advertisement to make clear that Royal & Sun Alliance were the underwriters.
Why this matters:
Increasingly, and particularly in the financial services world, more than one brand owner is involved in the promotion of a single product. Whilst there may be obvious advantages in businesses working together in this way, care must be taken to ensure transparency about the entity that will actually be providing the service being advertised, and with whom those reading the advertisement will eventually be contracting.