Lloyds TSB has been slammed by ad watchdogs for sending householders material that looked as if their neighbours were recommending the bank’s home insurance.
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) upheld five complaints from people who found three of the bank’s promotional materials misleading.
It ruled the adverts, which included text which was made to look handwritten, could mislead readers into believing they were a recommendation from people they knew. The watchdog said the ads were not truthful.
A leaflet looked like a folded, handwritten note with ‘neighbour’ on the front. The leaflet said: ‘Hello, I thought I’d do the neighbourly thing and recommend a great deal on home insurance.’
A circular with text that looked handwritten said: ‘I got a great deal on my home insurance with these guys. Just thought you might be interested.’
One mailing had the addressee’s name scribbled out and replaced with text intended to look handwritten. The name ‘Ellie’ had been drawn in green pen across the reverse of the envelope. Text beside it said: ‘Sorry about my daughter’s drawing.’
Lloyds TSB said it believed it was the UK’s number one home insurance provider and therefore, statistically, the company most likely to be insuring the recipient’s neighbours. It pointed out that its logo was on all marketing material.
The ASA ruled the adverts breached truthfulness rules and said they shouldn’t be sent out again.