ASA rules equity release ad “irresponsible and misleading”

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.

Emma Radmore