Complaint alleged insurer’s TV spot was misleading

The Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) has dismissed a complaint that a recent TV advert for insurer Churchill was misleading.

The ad touted an 80% safe driver discount, which the single complainant said was misleading because they understood drivers could be excluded from the offer for reasons unrelated to the safety of their driving.

The ad showed Churchill mascot Churchill the dog in a coin-operated car ride in a shopping centre. It featured several close-up clips of the number ‘80’ written on the car and dog’s helmet.

One scene showed the car ride in the background and a shopping centre advertising board in the foreground. Text on the board stated “80% 8 year No Claim Discount”.

Responding to the complaint, Churchill argued that statistically, if a driver had an eight-year no-claims discount (NCD) they were likely to have not made an accident claim and so be a safer driver, but that individuals’ circumstances would vary.

The company said the ad made clear that the “safe driver discount” was based on an eight-year NCD, and did not believe consumers would be misled.

The ASA did not uphold the complaint and said no further action was necessary.

It said: “The complainant believed the reference to ‘safe driver’ was misleading, because if you claimed for an accident that was not your fault you would still lose your NCD.

“Although we acknowledged this was the case, we considered that the large on-screen text which stated “80% 8 year No Claim Discount” clearly qualified the basis of the claim ‘80% safe driver discount’ and that consumers would understand that ‘safe driver’ was a reference to the NCD.

“We did not consider it was misleading to link the NCD with driving safety, provided the basis for the claim was made clear. We therefore concluded the claim was not misleading.”