Standard Bank Group respects ASA ruling
26 April 2012

Standard Bank Group respects the rulings of the Advertising Standards Authority of South Africa (ASA). The ASA ruled in favour of Standard Bank Group in relation to the complaints it submitted against FNB. The ASA, in turn, also ruled in favour of FNB regarding some of the complaints it lodged against Standard Bank Group. We intend to abide strictly by such rulings. 

Standard Bank Group lodged a complaint with the ASA against two print advertisements that appeared in the Sunday Times on 12 February 2012 and 19 February 2012, claiming that these ads were misleading and factually incorrect. 

In its rulings, the ASA Directorate found that the FNB advertisements were "misleading", "ambiguous" and contravened the ASA's Code of Advertising Practice. All the claims that contravened the Code must be withdrawn "with immediate effect". 

FNB lodged three complaints against Standard Bank Group. Two related to print adverts appearing in the Sunday Times and City Press respectively, and one to street pole advertising. 

The Sunday Times complaint related to two claims: that Standard Bank Group offers internet, cellphone and telephone banking for R0.00 and pays for network charges, and that Standard Bank Group is helping customers save up to 50% on bank fees. 

The ASA dismissed the first aspect of this complaint after Standard Bank Group amended the claim of payment of network charges. The ASA thus could not find that the advert was misleading, unsubstantiated, or dishonest. 

On the second aspect of the complaint, the ASA noted that the claim of saving customers 50% is currently unsubstantiated, and has to be completely withdrawn. 

The ASA found the advertising that appeared in City Press was unsubstantiated and must be withdrawn. 

On street pole advertising relating to free internet, cellphone and telephone banking, the ASA found that the advertising omits material information in a misleading manner, and instructed Standard Bank to immediately withdraw the advertising.

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