The Advertising Standards Agency has upheld three complaints against Claims Direct for two adverts placed by its franchisee partners.

The ASA said the adverts were wrong to imply that Claims Direct was a firm of solicitors and employed more than 1,000 personnel, when this figure included its panel solicitor firms.

It was also inaccurate to state that 96% of all its claims received a “fast settlement”.

The complainant, Wallace & Co, said the adverts in an internet directory led it to believe, wrongly, that Claims Direct and its franchisees were agents who sold referrals of personal injury cases to firms of solicitors.

The ASA has asked Claims Direct to state clearly in its adverts that it is not a firm of solicitors, but an agency that refers claims to a panel of solicitors. It added that Claims Direct declined to provide evidence to substantiate its claim that it usually settled claims within 12 months.

Claims Direct said that because its franchisees are not within its direct control it could not ensure that they complied with its internal advertising agreements. These require franchisees to send their proposed advertising material to Claims Direct head office for approval.