ASA Bans Misleading Greenlight Forex TV Ad22nd October 2009 7:55 am GMT
The UK Advertising Standards Authority has upheld a complaint against a TV advertisement by US-based Greenlight Forex, a foreign exchange market prediction service, which claimed without any independent substantiation that its customers had never had a losing month in the past three years.
The TV ad showed a black and white image of three men dressed in 1950s' clothes staring questioningly at a globe while a voice-over said: "Attention. Is this how you make currency decisions? There is a better way."
The men then looked towards the viewer and the image was replaced with footage of Greenlight Forex's website and its trading and performance lists. The voice-over continued: "Welcome to Greenlight Forex. We are the world's most accurate currency forecasters. Our team of international experts provide daily currency forecasts for hundreds of individuals and funds the world over. In the past three years our subscribers have never had a losing month. For proof go to our website where you can see each months performance."
One viewer challenged whether the claim "In the past three years our subscribers have never had a losing month" could be substantiated.
In its defence, Greenlight Forex said its daily performance had been logged on its website for the last three years and results were posted regardless of whether they won or lost. The closing results were determined according to an unrelated foreign currency exchange provider.
Despite this, the company said that it would remove the references to "most accurate" results along with the three-year performance claims.
In its assessment, the ASA noted Greenlight Forex's explanation that its closing rates were taken from reports published by a foreign currency exchange provider, but considered that in order to establish whether the reported "wins" and "loses" were accurate, the company would need to demonstrate that the daily currency predictions that had been made, matched those results.
Since Greenlight Forex had not provided independent evidence of the daily currency forecasts that had been made and whether those forecasts were reported in line with the closing results, the ASA considered that it had not substantiated the claim "In the past three years our subscribers have never had a losing month", thereby breaching CAP (Broadcast) TV Advertising Standards Code Rules 5.1.1, 5.2.1 and 5.2.2 (Misleading advertising).
The ASA told Greenlight Forex that the ad should not appear again in its current form. The ASA welcomed Greenlight Forex's assurance that it would remove the claim from the ad, and told the company to ensure that it held independent substantiation for all success claims in the future.