ASA has published its ruling on an ad by Key Retirement Solutions Ltd, which promoted its equity release mortgage product off the back of a cartoon sketch of a couple taking financial advice, with a voiceover suggesting that retired borrowers might be scared about increased mortgage rates and as a result be persuaded to take an equity release plan – which it then misleadingly suggested was comparable to a normal mortgage.
Key said it made viewers aware of a product that could solve “pressing financial needs” and might be better for customer needs than a standard mortgage. It also felt the product description was clear and that it was obvious the product was different to a standard mortgage.
The ASA however, felt that viewers would be left with an unbalanced picture of the benefits and risks of what is a complex financial product and its suitability for particular circumstances, and that it played on the financial fears of viewers in the cost of living crisis. As a result, it was irresponsible and misleading, and must not be broadcast again in its current form.