The ASA has upheld complaints in relation to three websites for Stockmarket Insider, an “investment advisory service”. The websites claimed:
- “of the thousands of “investment advisory services” available, we can say we have held the #1 spot for performance at key intervals”;
- “we meet and often exceed, all required compliances spelt out by regulators”; and
- a statement that Stockmarket Insider first recommended particular shares in 2012, with a statement of their gain of 248.7% by the end of 2018.
There were also testimonials from 2 customers.
The complainant queried whether the first and third claim could be substantiated, and whether the testimonials were genuine.
Stockmarket Insider did not reply to ASA’s enquiries, which was in itself a breach of the CAP code. It also found there was no evidence to back up the first statement, and it was therefore unsubstantiated and misleading. In relation to the third it found no evidence that either Stockmarket Insider had recommended the shares on the particular date, nor that their value had increased by the rate claimed. So that statement was also unsubstantiated and misleading.
ASA ordered the ad to be taken down in its current form and that the firm must hold documentary evidence substantiating claims. It also told the firm to be sure it could evidence that testimonials were genuine.