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Misleading NatWest advert banned

A TV advert for NatWest bank has been banned by the Advertising Standards Authority.

The ASA says NatWest’s claim that it is open on Saturday’s was misleading as not all branches were open.

In the advert a voice-over states: “NatWest has made a public promise to become Britain’s most helpful bank … It’s why we created our Customer Charter. It’s why, when you told us to open on Saturdays, we did. And why this year 160 branches will open earlier and close later.”

But two viewers challenged whether the claim “It’s why, when you told us to open on Saturdays, we did” misleadingly implied that all NatWest branches were open on Saturdays, which they understood was not the case.

NatWest responded by saying the aim of the advert was to highlight their recently published Customer Charter and its commitments, one of which was Saturday branch opening.

It says it had a long history of Saturday openings and, in response to customer demand, 675 of their 1552 branches were currently open on Saturdays.

But the ASA noted the ad focused on the NatWest Customer Charter, but nonetheless considered that viewers would understand it to mean that all NatWest branches were open on Saturdays.

Because that was not the case, and there was no qualification in the ad to explain that the claim applied to selected branches only, we concluded that the ad was misleading.


Kevin Paterson

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