ASA says ad for Tesco Home Insurance misled customers

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has rapped Tesco Personal Finance for a misleading TV ad that claimed online consumers would receive a 50% discount on insurance quotes.

The ad, for Tesco Home Insurance, claimed that all consumers who bought online would receive the discount, but a consumer complained that he had been given only a 15% discount on a quote he had obtained the previous month, before the campaign had started.

Tesco Personal Finance, which is jointly owned by the Royal Bank of Scotland Group and Tesco, said it was impossible to have a baseline cost to offer discounts against because insurance premiums are calculated on an individual’s circumstances at the time of the quote. The complainant’s first quote would have been subject to a 35% online discount, and the second to a 50% discount.

The ASA ruled that the ad implied that while the promotion was on, customers would get 50% off the price they would have been quoted before the promotion. It said the true discount was 15% and told Tesco not to broadcast the ad again in its current form.• The ASA has ruled that an ad in which Native Americans attack a Virgin train is not racist because viewers understand that it references old-fashioned Westerns.

It also rejected complaints that an NSPCC ad, in which a runner dressed as a giant rabbit tramples an abusive father, could scare children or make them think that normal parental activity was a prelude to abuse.

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