The advertising watchdog has ordered a claims management company (CMC) to stop showing a TV advertisement which exaggerated how long a PPI claim would take.
Gladstone Brookes, which instructed almost 71,000 clients in the first eight months of 2012, ran the advertisement stating that 'reclaiming PPI takes up your time - fact'. The Advertising Standards Authority today ruled that the claim, accompanied by a ticking clock, was likely to mislead viewers and breached two rules.
It ordered that the advertisement must not be broadcast again in its current form.
The judgment said the advertisement exaggerated the amount of time and difficulty required by consumers to reclaim their own PPI premium. Those making a claim, it added, had access to a large amount of advice online and were likely to find a direct complaint to their bank a straightforward process.
Even if a claimant was using a CMC, it was possible they might still have to take additional time of their own to find and forward paperwork to the company. Gladstone Brookes argued it had used no adjectives to exaggerate the difficulty of making claims and considered it was correct merely to say that reclaiming PPI 'takes up time'.
The company suggested that a consumer would seek out CMCs to save time and frustration and that they had better knowledge, experience and contacts in banks than consumers.
Three viewers challenged the claim on the grounds that it exaggerated the time and difficulty of making your own claim. Gladstone Brookes, which says it takes 25% of any financial benefit from a claim, reclaimed £103m in the first eight months of 2012. The highest award on a single claim this year was almost £58,000.
The company could not be contacted today for comment.