ASA rules Mortgage Complaints Bureau adverts ‘misleading’
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has upheld two complaints against Mortgage Complaints Bureau for adverts apparently offering a free funeral.
Five complainants challenged two paid-for Twitter adverts by Money Advice Club posted in May 2019 that appeared to link through to an offer of a free funeral.
Additionally, the ASA challenged whether the adverts falsely implied that the marketer was acting for purposes outside its trade, business, craft of profession and did not make clear its commercial intent.
The ads stated “Thousands of British Seniors Are Qualifying For A Fully Covered Funeral Programme,” and “People Born Before 1959 Qualify To Avoid Funeral Costs”.
They linked through to an article on moneyadviceclub.co.uk entitled “Check If You’re Entitled To A Fully Covered Funeral Programme.”
However, the ASA concluded that the adverts were misleading because no such plan was available. Instead, customers were directed to a website for Peace of Mind Funeral Planning and asked to input personal data including their name, postcode, email address and telephone number.
One of the directors of Peaceofmindfunerals.co.uk, a trading name of Open Media Group, was also a director of Mortgage Complaints Bureau. The ASA understood that Mortgage Complaints Bureau was a lead generation company and concluded therefore that it had falsely implied it was acting for purposes outside of its trade.
The ASA ruled that the adverts must not appear again in the form complained of; that future adverts must not claim the company provided plans enabling consumers to avoid funeral costs unless it did; and that it must not imply that it acts for purposes outside of its trade.