Thursday, 16 December 2010

Update: Natwest - helpful banking

2011/03/03: Update: Natwest fail to pass a fifth of their self imposed targets.


Back in August I pulled Natwest's Helpful Banking advert apart thusly:

It's why, when you told us to open on Saturdays, we did.[2]
And why 160 branches will open earlier, or close later.
[...]
[2] Which banks don't have branches open on Saturdays? And I note that they don't qualify this by saying how many of their branches are open on Saturday. (I'm assuming it's not all of them since their branch locator has a check box for listing only those open on Saturdays.)
It would appear two others noticed this and put in a complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority (I was not one of them) and Natwest got a slap on the wrist as a result:

Issue

Two viewers challenged whether the claim "It's why, when you told us to open on Saturdays, we did" misleadingly implied that all NatWest branches were open on Saturdays, which they understood was not the case.

Response

[...] [Natwest] said they had a long history of Saturday openings and, in response to customer demand, 675 of their 1552[1] branches were currently open on Saturdays.

Assessment

Upheld
The ASA noted the ad focused on the NatWest Customer Charter, but nonetheless considered that viewers would understand the claim "It's why, when you told us to open on Saturdays, we did" to mean that all NatWest branches were open on Saturdays. Because we understood that that was not the case, and there was no qualification in the ad to explain that the claim applied to selected branches only, we concluded that the ad was misleading.[...]

Action

The ad must not be broadcast again in its current form.
[1] That'd be 43% then - not even 1/2 of them.

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