Ad misleadingly implied pet damage covered by home insurance

Confused has been rapped by the advertising standards authority (ASA) for falsely implying in a radio advert that pet damage is covered by home insurance policies.

The offending advert featured an exchange between Confused mascot Brian the robot and a barking dog.

Brian says: “Oh, your master’s out? Well, tell him he could save over £263 on his home insurance through … What do you mean, he’s going to need it? … You’ve done what?! … Oh, not on the Persian rug, Rex!”

A different voice then says 10% of customers saved at least £263 against their previous renewal price.

One complainant challenged whether the ad misleadingly implied that Confused customers would be able to claim for damage caused by pets, which is not covered by most home insurance policies.

Confused insisted that the pet scenario was only used as a “comic backdrop” to Brian’s description of the savings, while the radio advertising clearance centre argued it was clear that the £263 saving offered by Confused would be used to purchase a new rug.

However the ASA sided with the complainant and ruled that the ad must not be broadcast again.

“Listeners would understand the damage Rex had caused to be an exemplification of the type of future situation in which the home insurance could be used,” it said.

“We understood that that was not commonly the case and therefore concluded that the ad was misleading.”

The incident with Rex is not the first time Brian has received complaints. In October the advertising watching rejected 137 complaints about an advert in which Brian appears to interrupt a couple’s sex session in their car to tell them how much they could save on car insurance. While some viewers may find the advert distasteful, the ASA said it was unlikely to cause widespread offence.