ASA Adjudication on First Choice Legal
First Choice Legal
499 Rice Lane
12 September 2012
Leaflet, Regional press
Number of complaints:
a. A local press ad for First Choice Legal stated:
"People of Kirkby are YOU eligible for compensation?
Following the fire at the Sonae factory in June 2011, a number of Kirkby residents received compensation due to smoke inhalation.
We believe you and thousands of other residents may be eligible to receive compensation too!
This was a well-documented incident which lasted 3 days. Help Us to Help You.
Call our specialist helpline for FREE and Helpful Advice from a member of our friendly staff.
No Win - No Fee
Claim the compensation you deserve!
1 FIRST CHOICE LEGAL
Personal Injury Specialists
Call a member of our friendly staff today".
b.. A flyer, distributed in the Kirkby and Northwood area of Liverpool, stated:
"PEOPLE OF NORTHWOOD
FOLLOWING THE FIRE @ SONEA [sic] FACTORY JUNE 2011 A NUMBER OF NORTHWOOD RESIDENTS RECEIVED COMPENSATION DUE TO SMOKE INHALATION
WE BELIEVE YOU AND THOUSANDS OF OTHER RESIDENTS MAY BE ELIGIBLE TO RECEIVE COMPENSATION TOO
CALL OUR SPECIALIST HELPLINE FOR FREE AND HELPFUL ADVICE FROM A MEMBER OF OUR FRIENDLY STAFF
THIS WAS A WELL DOCUMENTED INCIDENT WHICH LASTED THREE DAYS HELP US HELP YOU
FIRST CHOICE LEGAL."
Sonae Industrial (UK) Ltd challenged whether the claims that compensation had been paid to residents in Kirkby and Northwood were misleading, because they understood that no such payments had been made.
CAP Code (Edition 12)
First Choice Legal did not respond to the ASA's enquiries.
The ASA was concerned by First Choice Legal's lack of substantive response and apparent disregard for the Code, which was a breach of CAP Code clause 1.7 (Unreasonable delay). We reminded them of their responsibility to provide a substantive response to our enquiries and told them to do so in the future.
Because First Choice Legal did not provide any evidence to substantiate the claims, we concluded that the ads were misleading.
The ads breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 1.7 (Unreasonable delay), 3.1 (Misleading advertising) and 3.7 (Substantiation).
The ads must not appear again in their current form. We told First Choice Legal to ensure they did not make claims in their advertising without robust evidence to substantiate them. We asked CAP to inform its members of the problem with First Choice Legal.