Ads watchdog slams lead-gen video

Ads watchdog slams lead-gen video
Photo by Mikael Blomkvist via Pexels

The Advertising Standards Agency has upheld two complaints against a life insurance lead generation advert.

Between October 2021 and January 2022, a YouTube pre-roll ad for lead generation service CleverKeith featured a video that showed a person checking their current account balance, which displayed a sum of £237,578.

A voice-over accompanying the video stated: "If you’re a British dad aged 35-45 and don’t have life insurance, I want you to know about this.

Article continues after advert

"So, some of you will probably be shocked by this but as you can see, my current bank balance is over £237,000.

"The reason it’s so high is because yesterday our family received our protection payment ... As you can see, this is a huge amount of money, so it’s going to make a massive difference to our lives. Click the button to see if you could get this protection too.”

The button below the YouTube video took consumers to CleverKeith’s website.

But the ASA received two complaints about the advert, both of which claimed the video was misrepresenting a life insurance policy as a money-making scheme. 

They also complained that the marketer - Stillbloom Limited, trading as CleverKeith - was acting for purposes outside its trade, business, craft or profession.

After exploring the complaints, the ASA upheld both complaints, stating: "The ad must not appear again in the form complained of.

"We told Stillbloom Ltd t/a CleverKeith to ensure their future marketing communications did not misrepresent life insurance as a money-making scheme, and to make clear that they passed on enquirers’ details to third parties and did not provide advice themselves.

"We also told them not to claim or imply that they were acting for purposes outside their trade or business and to make clear the commercial intent of their marketing."

Stillbloom's response

In its response to the challenges, Stillbloom told the advertising watchdog it believed the terms “protection” and “life insurance” were generally used interchangeably, and that consumers would "understand the ad’s use of the former as reference to the latter".

Furthermore, it argued that consumers would understand that life insurance policies only paid out in the event of the subject’s death.

According to the ASA, Stillbloom said: "They believed use of the phrase 'Click the button to see if you could get this protection too' was neither a stated nor implied claim that by clicking through to CleverKeith’s website consumers could qualify for the product offered.

"While the age group stated in the ad, 35- to 45- year olds, were less likely to die than individuals in older age groups, that was offset by comparatively lower premiums."