Both complaints, from unidentified complainants, suggested the omission of an interest rate on the equity release products promoted in the March advert was misleading.
However, the ASA countered that as a broker, offering advice on whole of market home reversion and equity release, no single product was being promoted, making it impossible to offer an interest rate.
Age said there are 374 individual equity release plans across the whole of the market, some of which had interest rates that fluctuated daily or were variable.
The firm explained that if it was to reference a specific interest rate on its TV ads they would have to take a ‘typical’ view which would involve taking an average of the hundreds of lifetime mortgage plans available, with the result that the rate quoted would not be representative of reality for the majority of viewers.
“The rate could date instantly and would not be relevant for individuals suited to a home reversion plan,” it said.
The ASA refused to uphold the complaint.
The ASA considered that consumers would understand that the example shown in the ad promoted a lifetime mortgage, a common type of equity release scheme which was one of the types of equity release products offered by the advertiser.
It said: “We considered that consumers would understand that the ad provided general information about how a lifetime mortgage worked, rather than referencing the specific terms of the product and was an illustration of the type of experience consumers may have when opting for a lifetime mortgage.”
It added: “We noted that the on-screen text in the ad stated “equity released, plus accrued interest to be repaid upon death”, which indicated that interest had to be paid on the product, although a specific rate was not referenced in the ad.
“We considered that consumers would understand that interest rates for a lifetime mortgage would vary based on the plan provider chosen and an individual’s financial circumstances.
“Therefore, we concluded that the omission of an interest rate on a lifetime mortgage as featured in the ad was not misleading.”