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Westpac pulls home loan ad after competitor complaint

Westpac has pulled a home loan ad after Kiwibank complained about it.

According to an Advertising Standards Authority decision, Westpac has removed its Welcome Home Loan radio ads after Kiwibank expressed concerns.

Following this, a majority of the ASA’s complaints board found the ad misleading.

Westpac’s ad said it was the only major bank to offer Welcome Home Loans.

Westpac said it knew Kiwibank offered Welcome Home Loans but did not consider Kiwibank a major bank. 

Kiwibank complained directly to Westpac after which Westpac agreed to no longer run the ad or any other ads making comparable statements.

Complainant C Wong also took offence to the ad and complained to the ASA.

The complainant said it was “misleading and prejudice toward Kiwibank and their customers.”

The complaint was referred to the ASA’s complaints board, of which a majority decided it was misleading. The majority said consumers consider Kiwibank a major bank and rejected the suggestion that only the four overseas banks were seen as the major banks. 

Westpac says it is a major bank because of its comparative asset and liabiltiy footprint, its share of home lending and Kiwibank’s own marketing campaign suggests it is.

However a minority of the ASA’s complaints board said Kiwibank could not be considered a “major bank” because Kiwibank’s own advertising campaigns placed them as an underdog within the industry. It says therefore Westpac’s ad was not misleading.

vyoung@nbr.co.nz

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