Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 23 December 2014

Misleading NatWest advert banned

A NatWest bank TV advert has been banned by the advertising watchdog for being misleading
A NatWest bank TV advert has been banned by the advertising watchdog for being misleading

A NatWest bank TV advert highlighting how the company opens branches on a Saturday has been banned by the advertising watchdog for being misleading.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has ordered that the advert is not broadcast again in its current format.

The advert stated in voice-over: "NatWest has made a public promise to become Britain's most helpful bank. It's why we created our customer charter. It's why, when you told us to open on Saturdays, we did. And why this year 160 branches will open earlier and close later."

But viewers complained and challenged whether the claim: "It's why, when you told us to open on Saturdays, we did", misleadingly implied that all NatWest branches were open on Saturdays, which is not the case.

NatWest told the ASA that the aim of the advert was to highlight their recently published customer charter and its commitments, one of which was Saturday branch opening.

The bank said 675 of their 1,552 branches opened on Saturdays.

But the ASA ruled that the ad was still misleading.

An ASA spokesman explained: "The ASA noted the ad focused on the NatWest customer charter but nonetheless considered that viewers would understand the claim: "It's why, when you told us to open on Saturdays, we did", to mean that all NatWest branches were open on Saturdays.

"Because we understood that that was not the case, and there was no qualification in the ad to explain that the claim applied to selected branches only, we concluded that the ad was misleading."

A NatWest spokeswoman said: "We recognise there could have been confusion with the advert and have already amended it."

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