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ASA upholds complaint against Lexus ad

The Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) has upheld a complaint against a press ad for the Lexus RX450h which appeared last summer.

The ad read: “Think of it as a luxury savings plan. The full Hybrid Lexus RX450h costs up to £8,879 less to run that its competitors.”

The headline claim linked to small print which directed readers to the Lexus website. However, a reader challenged whether the claim was misleading and the ASA agreed.

It considered that the inclusion of a reference to saving money on servicing, road tax and insurance may have caused confusion and also that the fuel-cost figures quoted would not be representative of real life driving.

The adjudication concluded: “Because they had assumed an increase in fuel prices over the three years when that may not be the case, and because the ad did not make sufficiently clear that the savings claim related to company car drivers, we considered the claim that a Lexus RX450h cost ‘up to £8,879 less to run than its competitors’ had not been substantiated and therefore, was misleading.”

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