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ASA says Axa PPP mailing played on clients’ fears

Axa PPP Healthcare has been ordered to withdraw marketing material after the Adver-tising Standards Authority found it breached two of the committee of advertising practice code clauses.

A direct mailing for Axa PPP read: “Your trust has been given a low rating (one star) by the Healthcare Commission, which can be due to factors such as waiting lists, cancelled operations and hospital cleanliness.”

But the complainant poin-ted out that the named trust was given a one-star rating because of financial difficulties and not because of waiting lists, cancelled operations and hospital cleanliness.

The complainant therefore believed the mailing was misleading and that it appealed to potential customers’ fear in order to sell private medical insurance.

The ASA said the mailing breached CAP code clauses 7.1 on truthfulness and 9.l on fear and distress.

It upheld the complaint and said: “We considered that it appealed unduly to consumers’ fears about the state of their Trust and the care they were likely to receive from it in order to sell private medical insurance.”

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