Challenge Churchill advert banned

20 August 2008
One of Churchill Insurance's well-known adverts, featuring a nodding dog, has been banned after the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) found it was misleading.

One of the insurer's recent adverts, that featured a male voice-over urging homeowners to “Challenge Churchill” to beat their home insurance renewal by £30, claimed that customers could make a claim without having to fill in any forms. This latter allegation was challenged by one customer who, after making an insurance claim, was sent forms to fill in.

The ASA investigated the issue and found that, in around 20% of cases, Churchill Insurance customers were required to fill in forms as part of the claims process. The watchdog deemed assertions made in Churchill’s adverts were, therefore, unacceptable and has declared the advert misleading.

Churchill Insurance currently passes all claims for homes contents insurance through to its claims handlers, with around 40% requiring additional information. Although the claims handler is instructed to resolve any clarification issues via the telephone, around 20% require claimants to fill in forms.

The insurer says the statement regarding forms was included in the advert in error. In light of the investigation, it has apologised and promised not to use the claim in future advertising.

However, Clearcast, the company responsible for approving television advertisements before they can be broadcast, says it was told by Churchill that all claims were dealt through a teleclaims department.

In a statement, the ASA noted this was not the first time it had been concerned about Churchill failing to provide Clearcast with full information.

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