The paid ad, posted on the MSN.com website, was discovered by a member of the public in late January and reported to the ASA through the new scam ad reporting tool launched last June. It had the text “Martin Lewis Stock Release Calculator – Free Cash From Your Home” and was linked to the Equityreleaseplus.co.uk website, even though Martin NEVER advertises and has nothing to do with the website.
Unfortunately, Martin’s face has been plastered all over the internet, apparently promoting all kinds of products that he has never heard of and has nothing to do with. Don’t be fooled – check out our guide to fake Martin Lewis ads for some of the worst examples and what to do if you spot one.
What the ASA’s decision said
In a ruling released this week, the ASA said it had investigated the complaint but received no response from Equityplus.co.uk, which in itself is a violation of the Committee’s Code of Conduct on Advertising. We also asked the website for a comment this week but received no response.
The ASA said, “We thought customers would understand that the ad was a Martin Lewis financial product … We have therefore come to the conclusion that the ad is misleading.”
The ASA said the ad should not be re-issued in its current form, and Equityrelease.co.uk was instructed to “ensure that there is no implication that its service is related to Martin Lewis or any specific person, unless this is the case “. It has also referred the matter to the Compliance Team of the Advertising Practice Committee. We asked what action should be taken as a result and will update this story as soon as we hear about it.
Martin NEVER advertises – if you see anyone misusing their name, report it
Martin will never appear in online ads to support a financial product. We therefore always recommend MoneySavers who recognize one by its name in order to report it. Our Guide to Fake Martin Lewis Ads has the full details of what to look for and what to do, but in a nutshell:
- Check to see if the ad itself has a button to report it. Some online ads have buttons that allow you to either hide them or report them to the advertising company. It usually looks like an ‘X’ or on Facebook it looks like three dots.
- Report it to the Advertising Standards Authority. If you’ve seen something that you believe is a scam, you can report it using this form on the ASA website.
You can use the form to report all types of scam ads online, including ads on newspaper websites, search engines, and social media. The ads must be paid for online.
You will be asked a short series of questions, such as: B. Where and when you saw the ad and why you think it was a scam. It is also helpful if you can provide additional information such as a link to the ad, if you can, and, when you clicked the ad, a link to the page to which you were directed.
The ASA states that they will not receive a personal response to your report. So don’t expect an ad to be removed immediately after reporting it. However, the watchdog evaluates the reports received and uses them as information for its anti-fraud measures. He works with advertising networks and online publishers to remove any obvious fraudulent ads as quickly as possible.