The Advertising Standards Authority has upheld two complaints against Cazana, a vehicle data checking company. Both complainants alleged that the firm didn’t sell checks for the advertised price, and one believed that a claim that the company offered ‘UK’s most comprehensive car check’ was misleading and couldn’t be substantiated.
In response Cazana said that a “car check” typically referred to provenance checks against standard database content from the DVLA, DVSA, police and insurers. Cazana maintained that, in addition to those checks, theirs were the only checks that showed the previous sales history and images of vehicles and a retail valuation sourced from the details of vehicles that were currently for sale.
However, the advertising body didn’t agree. The ASA considered consumers would interpret the claim to mean that the vehicle check undertaken by Cazana covered more aspects of the vehicle and its history and provided more information than checks undertaken by other providers. It said: “To substantiate the claim, we expected Cazana to hold information that compared Cazana’s checks with those provided by their competitors and which showed that Cazana’s checks covered more aspects and provided more information. Because Cazana did not hold that information, we concluded that the claim was misleading”.
The ASA also agreed with the complainants on the issue of pricing. “We understood from one complainant, however, that the check advertised for £1.79 in ad (b) did not include the finance check that the ad referred to, and from the second complainant that the “Total” or “Complete” checks offered for £3.99 in ads (a) and (c) respectively did not provide a number of additional checks that were included in the “gold check” offered by Cazana for £9.99″ said the ASA in its adjudication. “Because the advertised checks were not available for the prices shown in the ads, we concluded that the ads were misleading”.
The ads must not appear again in the current form. The ASA also told Cazana not to make claims about the extent of their checks in comparison with those of their competitors unless they held adequate evidence, and to ensure that, if ads suggested that a check was available at a particular price, that was the correct price for that check.