The Advertising Standard Authority has upheld its investigation into Smart Pension for its use of misleading marketing communication.
In a ruling published today, the ASA’s council says Smart Pension had sent letters on 25 January regarding workplace pensions with misleading content suggesting theirs was an official government call-to-action for companies.
The letter urged companies to comply with a workplace pension for employees to avoid “severe penalties”. The communication also carried the “HM Government” and “Business is Great Britain” logos.
The ASA says: “We considered the advertiser’s web address www.AutoEnrolment.co.uk, the logo for Automatic Enrolment and the format of the envelope, which was very similar to that used by the Pensions Regulator, reinforced the impression the envelope was an official communication.”
In response to the investigation, Smart Pension said the envelope was an out-of-date version of their communication which should not have been in circulation at the time the complaint was made.
They also claimed the tone of the letter made it “imminently clear” it was a marketing communication offering a commercial service.
While stating the information in the letters was factually correct, Smart Pension offered to make changes to its advert including wording and layout.