The Advertising Standards Authority of South Africa (ASA) has found that claims made in an E-toll radio commercial are speculative and based on unstated assumptions.
It was considering a consumer complaint about the radio advertisement under the section of the Code of Advertising Practice which deals with misleading claims.
According to the ASA ruling, the advert in question features two men having a conversation about toll fees.
At one point a character called Stanley tells his friend, “Because I can get to and from pick-ups and drop-offs quicker with the new freeways, I could take on more customers and make 20% more per month.”
A consumer questioned the accuracy of 20% statistic, saying that it was without foundation.
In its response to the complaint, the South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) said that the 20% figure was based on research conducted by Dutch navigation company, TomTom.
According to research conducted by TomTom (which MyBroadband has seen), the travel times in peak periods on Gauteng freeways have decreased significantly since Sanral’s upgrades were completed.
Using this data, along with estimates based on routes, the number of deliveries done per day, and the estimated time it takes to complete them, Sanral calculated a 20–25% increase in turnover for a transport business.
Ruling and undertaking
As a closing remark to its response, Sanral said that it would be willing to reword the commercial without using the percentage and stipulate that the saving relates to an increase in the number of pick-ups and drop-offs.
The ASA said it accepted Sanral’s undertaking, adding that it “hoped that the amended version will appropriately indicate the nature of the speculation, rather than suggesting a factual value.”