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July 19, 2013

Comparative ads: Woolworths Car Insurance

ASIC has announced that Woolworths Limited has agreed to change an ad campaign for its car insurance product following ASIC concerns it was potentially misleading, notwithstanding a disclaimer.

The ads for Woolworths Car Insurance claimed ‘on average, our customers saved $240’. This claim was based on a sample of 109 customers who purchased a comprehensive car insurance policy from Woolworths between 6 August 2012 and 30 September 2012, and compared the cost of the new Woolworths premium with the premium they had paid for their previous policy.

ASIC was concerned that the comparison was made despite potential differences between Woolworths’ insurance product and the product consumers switched from. In particular, the range prospective customers could choose from when determining the agreed value of their vehicle was lower than the range offered by some other insurers, meaning that customers could be insured under their new policy with Woolworths for a lower agreed value.

ASIC identified that these differences in the agreed value of vehicles had the potential to impact on represented savings.

While the ads included a disclaimer that stated the cover and benefits may differ between the policies being compared, ASIC believes the disclaimer:

  • was not sufficiently prominent to effectively qualify the savings claim (this was particularly the case for ads that appeared on buses where consumers had less time to scrutinise the ads), and
  • was unlikely to correct any misleading impressions created by viewing the savings claim.

More comparative ad case studies: Navigator superannuation, Avant Insurance

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Posted 19th July 2013 by David Jacobson in Financial Services, Insurance, Marketing