ASA rules Prudential mailer is ‘misleading’

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has upheld complaints about a Prudential insurance mail-shot designed as a Valentine’s card.

The card, sent in a pink envelope with a kiss-mark in lipstick printed on the seal, attracted 12 complaints.

The ruling comes as the advertising watchdog is investigating complaints against a similar mailer from luxury car marque Jaguar, which was sent in the form of a letter from a secret admirer (MW February 26). It attracted 37 complainants, who objected to the fact that they had to call Royal Mail to find out the source of the letter. The Prudential mailer has, meanwhile, been ruled as misleading because it masqueraded as a Valentine’s card and was not identifiable as a piece of marketing communication.

Separately, the ASA has not upheld a complaint against a Marie Curie Cancer Care press ad, which shows a woman saying: “I’m about to choose how I die. I don’t mean how, as in by which method, breast cancer has already decided that. I mean where I die. I want to die at home…”

The complainant said the ad was offensive and distressing because of the reference to inevitable death from the disease.

The ASA found that in the context of an ad for a charity that looks after terminally ill cancer sufferers the ad was not likely to cause serious or widespread offence or undue distress.


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