The consumer advice service Which? has won out over a viewer who complained that its television advertisement was misleading.
The ad urged viewers to: “Avoid costly mistakes. Check our latest expert reviews from fridges to financial services at which.co.uk.” The complainant to the Advertising Standards Authority thought the ad implied that the expert reviews were free, whereas they understood that a subscription was required.
In its defence, Which? argued that the ad did not claim that the expert advice was free, but made clear to viewers that if they wanted to find out more they should visit the website; when Which? advertised a free service that was made clear in the advertising.
It added that many ads did not include pricing for products or services offered, but viewers would not infer from that that there was no charge.
The ASA took Which?’s side, saying that because the ad did not claim explicitly or implicitly that the expert reviews were available for free, it was unlikely to mislead viewers.
The Which? brand was well-established as both a magazine and online service, it said, and viewers would be aware that the magazine was only available by subscription, which would give them access to the reviews.