American Express ad banned for exaggerated cashback claim

An American Express ad for the brand's Platinum Cashback Everyday Credit Card has been banned, after the Advertising Standards Authority ruled it was not clear about the limitations of the card's cashback benefit.

Created by Ogilvy & Mather, the spot features an animation of various situations in which unanticipated spending would be necessary.

A voiceover says: "Sometimes we have to pay for things we don’t actually like. But there is an upside to everything. There is a card that could give you 5% cashback on all purchases. Even the ones that didn’t go to plan."

In fact, while the cashback is initially 5% and is available on all purchases, there are limitations. It is subject to a maximum cashback amount of £100, the rate drops to 1% after three months, and there is a minimum annual spend of £3,000.

American Express said that consumers would not consider the claim to be an absolute one and that the on-screen text was enough to clarify the terms.

But the ASA said the headline did in fact give the impression that customers would be able to get 5% cashback without limitations.

The watchdog ruled the ad breached the BCAP Code rules on misleading advertising, qualification and exaggeration, and ordered that it not be shown again in itis current form.

Simon Gwynn

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