Outsurance told to remove 'misleading' testimonial TV ad

Image: Outsurance via YouTube

The ad watchdog, the Advertising Regulatory Board (ARB), ordered Outsurance to withdraw or change a “misleading” TV commercial because it did not make a fair comparison.

Bryan Jones complained to the ARB about a commercial in which “Ricky”, 42, in Gauteng, is sharing his experience about switching the car insurance for a 2002 Volkswagen Golf 4 to Outsurance, and is saving R1,305/pm.

A disclaimer at the end of the commercial states: “Premium quoted is risk profile dependent. Ts and Cs apply.”

Outsurance said the commercial is Ricky Moodley’s testimonial about switching from Dial Direct to Outsurance. The insurer provided the ARB with Moodley’s insurance policies from Dial Direct and Outsurance.

But there was one key difference: Moodley was registered as the primary driver when he was insured with Dial Direct - on the Outsurance policy his wife is the primary driver.

Outsurance maintained the commercial is a “truthful presentation”.

The ARB also noted these differences:

  • The basic and windscreen excess is higher at Outsurance policy; and
  • Outsurance covers the car’s radio/sound system unlike Dial Direct.

On Monday the ARB said in its ruling: “From the response [from Outsurance] it appears that the actual net effect of the various differences comes down to a relatively insignificant amount of R23.46, being the difference between Moodley’s actual premium with Outsurance and what his premium would have been if his Outsurance policy was an exact match.”

The ARB said in this case the difference in saving was small, but in other cases might be bigger.

“The communication of the commercial is that the comparison is like-for-like, and that communication is misleading – the change of regular driver is a material difference which is not communicated.”

Outsurance said in reply to a similar complaint last month the testimonials in their TV commercials are not “utter lies”.