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's national press ads for its corporate-bond Pep dramatically underestimated Virgin's performance.
The L&G ads compared the running yields of four providers. L&G's Pep was shown yielding 7.1 per cent, beating Fidelity's Moneybuilder Pep, M&G's Corporate Bond Pep and Virgin's Income Pep.
But L&G quoted Virgin's running yield as 5.8 per cent. L&G mistakenly used its rival's 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."