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ASA charges top banks with lying in adverts

Staff Reporter

In a judgment on the advertising war between FNB and Standard Bank, the Advertising Standards Authority has found both guilty of lying to customers.

Both Standard Bank and First National Bank (FNB) have been found guilty of misleading advertising, according to a report on Friday.

Last month the banks accused each other of ambiguous and unsubstantiated marketing and both approached the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) over adverts they believed were misleading to consumers, the Star newspaper reported.

FNB was found to be misleading the public for its claim that its Smart Zero account was the “first bank account in South Africa with a zero monthly fee.”

It found that other banks had offered this service in the past, including Standard Bank.

The authority also found that Standard Bank’s posters which read: “free cellphone banking, free telephone banking, and free internet banking”, were misleading as it did not inform consumers that certain costs applied, like a subscription fee.—Sapa

Read an extract from the ASA ruling and Standard Bank’s response here

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