One of Australia’s biggest wealth management names has been fined for misleading statements in two online ads.
The ads involved BT super. ASIC was concerned that BT had represented that its products had generated greater returns than those generated by all industry funds during a particular period, whereas this was not the case. Also, ASIC was concerned that, by including the words “Industry Super Australia” in another ad, BT was representing that it was affiliated with industry super fund entity of the same name where no such affiliation existed.
While the penalty, $20,400, is a mere drop in the ocean for BT Funds Management, the issue brings into sharp focus the fraught nature of comparative advertising and advertising that suggests associations which don’t exist. Of course, whenever you publish ads or other marketing materials, you should ensure they have first undergone rigorous due diligence. ASIC’s media release is available here: http://www.asic.gov.au/about-asic/media-centre/find-a-media-release/2015-releases/15-149mr-bt-pays-20-400-penalty-for-misleading-statements/