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L&G in apology to Virgin as ads compare wrong figures

Legal & General has been forced to make a humiliating apology to Virgin Direct and change its advertising after admitting it got its figures wrong.

Virgin complained that figures used in L&G&#39s national press ads for its corporate-bond Pep dramatically underestimated Virgin&#39s performance.

The L&G ads compared the running yields of four providers. L&G&#39s Pep was shown yielding 7.1 per cent, beating Fidelity&#39s Moneybuilder Pep, M&G&#39s Corporate Bond Pep and Virgin&#39s Income Pep.

But L&G quoted Virgin&#39s running yield as 5.8 per cent. L&G mistakenly used its rival&#39s redemption yield, not its actual running yield of 6.6 per cent.

Ironically, just last week, Money Marketing revealed that L&G had squeezed an apology from Eagle Star after its projected maturity value was misquoted in an Eagle Star press release.

Virgin marketing manager Gordon Maw says: "Anyone can make a mistake but those ads are very high profile and you should know the difference between the two.

"There are a lot of people looking for the best deal at the moment and we just hope no one used those figures to decide on buying their Pep."

L&G head of public relations John Morgan accepts that a mistake was made but says: "If you look at the new ads, our figures are still top."

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