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Product Advertising – Misleading advertisement exposed

The Advertising Regulatory Board (ARB) recently told Old Mutual’s iWize to withdraw or amend its advert and to make it clear that only cars worth less than R1.2m are eligible for an offer that states: “If we can’t save you money, we’ll give you R505.” This decision is also in line with the amendment to the General Code of Conduct (GCoC) that states that advertisements need to be factually correct, balanced and not misleading, as discussed by Billy Seyffert at the Moonstone Compliance and Risk regulatory update webinar on Tuesday.

An owner of a Porsche Cayenne recently informed the ARB that the iWize TV commercial was misleading, because when he tried to take up their offer of saving on his current insurance, he was informed that his vehicle were too expensive for the Old Mutual brand to cover. “The watchdog said it accepted that insurers were entitled to impose terms and conditions, but the ad Rossouw saw did not indicate any limit on the maximum sum insured,” according to Timeslive.

“The reality is that [iWYZE] was not able to save [Rossouw] money, and that the implication of the advertisement is therefore that he would receive the benefit of the offer. Even the terms and conditions of the offer, which iWYZE sent to the watchdog, did not mention the R1.2m limit.”

As a result, insurer iWYZE has been ordered to change its advertising to make clear that only cars worth less than R1.2m are eligible for an offer.

Click here to read the Timeslive article.

The GCoC’s section on advertising (section 14) has been completely overhauled and aligned with other regulation such as the Long-term and Short-term Insurance Policyholder Protection Rules (PPRs). It now requires FSPs to have an in-depth look at their Advertising Policy and Procedures and to make appropriate changes by the end of the year when it come into effect on 26 December 2020.

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