ASA rules on more misleading debt advice ads
KwikChex has previously reported on the Advertising Standards Authority rulings in favour of the Money and Pensions Service, which had challenged the legitimacy of paid-for search advertisements promoting debt relief solutions.
The ASA has now ruled against two further companies promoting debt relief advice via paid-for Facebooks ads.
A number of concerns were raised regarding the companies TFLI Ltd t/a Wise Old Mary and Flexible Digital Solutions Ltd –
- Not making clear that the solution was an individual voluntary arrangement (IVA) or Debt Management Plan (DMP)
- Not making clear the risks and fees associated with an IVA or DMP
- Claiming to offer a “free service” when the solution was an IVA, which was likely to incur a fee
- Exaggerating the speed and simplicity of debt solutions
- Exaggerating the amount that could likely be written off
- Misleadingly implying that the service was specifically for women in their 40s
- Not making clear that customer details were passed to a third party
- Exaggerating the “special” nature of an IVA/DMP and irresponsibly trivialising an application for such a service
- Making references to “Debt Relief” programmes that do not exist
The ASA ruled that none of the ads may appear again in their current form.