The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has banned a promotion from an investment advisory service after taking issue with some of the claims made about previous investment performance.

The complaint was made by a well-known stock picking firm, who took issue with three areas of the advisory service firm’s website:

  • The firm claimed to have held the number one spot for performance at ‘key intervals’
  • The firm said it recommended investment in Britvic plc’s shares in July 2012 and that the value of shares in that company rose by 248.7% between July 2012 and December 2018
  • The complaint also queried if the testimonials on the advisory service’s website were genuine

The ASA did not conclude that it had definitive proof that the advisory service firm had lied about any of these areas. However, as the firm failed to respond to the ASA when given the chance to stat its case, the advertising watchdog concluded that the firm had failed to provide any evidence to support its claims:

  • The firm did not explain the evidence it was using to demonstrate that they had outperformed other investment advisory services at key intervals since the firm’s foundation in 1993
  • The firm did not provide evidence that it had recommended Britvic shares in 2012 or that the value of these shares had risen by 248.7%
  • The firm provided no evidence to demonstrate that the customer testimonials on the website were genuine

In the absence of any evidence to support these claims, the ASA concluded that the claims were ‘misleading’.

The ASA has since referred the firm to the Committee of Advertising Practice’s compliance team.

On August 26 2019 none of the firm’s three website addresses, as listed in the ASA ruling, were functional.

This serves as a reminder to firms in all sectors that they must provide evidence to support any claims made on their website or in other promotional material, especially any claims related to the firm’s performance or the performance of certain investments.

The information shown in this article was correct at the time of publication. Articles are not routinely reviewed and as such are not updated. Please be aware the facts, circumstances or legal position may change after publication of the article