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June 21, 2012

Comparative advertising: Avant Insurance makes correction

Comparative advertising is risky: what the advertiser says about its own products as well as its competitors' products must be accurate and not misleading. When you do compare products you must compare like with like.

ASIC has announced that Avant Insurance Limited (Avant) has changed the advertising for its Avant Practitioner Indemnity Insurance Policy, in response to ASIC concerns the ads were potentially misleading.

The ads, which were in the form of a letter sent to policy holders of competing products, included a table comparing the cover provided by Avant’s policy against that of four other competitors. The table showed a tick where cover was provided and a cross where cover was not provided by each policy.

ASIC was concerned the table created the impression that Avant’s policy provided more cover than its competitors in some areas, when this was not necessarily the case. The table did not clearly disclose qualifications to Avant's policy cover.

Avant has agreed to:

  • make clear to consumers that cover is subject to applicable terms, conditions and exclusions of the policy where key statements are made about policy features;
  • place disclaimers in close proximity to any key statements about the features of the policy;
  • stop the use of comparisons that may not accurately represent the scope of cover provided by Avant and its competitors; and
  • update its internal marketing guidelines to reflect ASIC’s Regulatory Guide 234: Advertising financial products and advice services: Good practice guidance (RG 234) and work with marketing staff to improve disclaimers and warnings.

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Posted 21st June 2012 by David Jacobson in Insurance, Marketing