Barclaycard Green Wing advert branded misleading

24 September 2008
Barclaycard’s memorable adverts starring Green Wing actors, Julian Rhind-Tutt and Stephen Mangan, have been branded misleading by the advertising watchdog.

The ad featured the two comedians in a motel room, with Mangan handcuffed to the bed having been robbed by a mysterious woman. To cheer him up, Rhind-Tutt points out: "Course if you had a Barclaycard all your fancy gadgets could have been insured: laptop, phone, new camera."

The advert, which was dropped during the summer after Barclaycard decided comedy was inappropriate during the credit crunch, received several complaints. Viewers challenged the message as misleading, because although the ad implied all gadgets were covered, the on-screen text stated in fact only three gadgets totalling £500 were covered by the card’s insurance.

Despite Barclaycard defending the adverts as not making any absolute claims, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) upheld the complaints, agreeing that the message was indeed misleading as it suggested the insurance covered all gadget purchased.

In a statement, the ASA added: “Although we noted that it may be possible to purchase a laptop, mobile phone and digital camera for under £500, we considered that for many people the combined value of those items would exceed that amount, and the superimposed text implied a greater level of cover than was on offer.”

Meanwhile, The Carphone Warehouse’s home phone plan, TalkTalk, has also received a telling off from the ASA for its recent broadband advertising campaign.

The TV advert in question stated: “At TalkTalk we believe broadband should be free. When you get your landline from us we give you broadband that’s free.” The deal also included unlimited evening and weekend calls to UK landlines and 36 destinations worldwide, plus free broadband, for £3.25 a month plus £10.50 monthly line rental and £29.99 one-off connection fee.

Despite the bold claims, 10 viewers complained because the advert didn’t make it clear that free broadband was only available in certain parts of the country, with people living in other areas having to pay extra.

Following an investigation by the ASA, TalkTalk acknowledged that some customers living in certain areas were not eligible for the free broadband. The ASA said this was not made sufficiently clear in the adverts, and branded them misleading.

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