Age UK did not mislead the public, rules Advertising Standards Authority

Two local Age Concerns complained to the regulator that an advertisement implied they were now part of Age UK

Age UK
Age UK

The Advertising Standards Authority has rejected a complaint that Age UK misled the public by implying all local Age Concerns had agreed to join it.

Age Concern Hampshire and Age Concern Okehampton and Torridge lodged the complaint with the watchdog after Age UK, which was formed by the merger of Age Concern England and Help the Aged in 2009, said in a magazine advert that "Age Concern has joined forces with Help the Aged and together we are now known as Age UK".

They were also unhappy that an Age UK advert on Google said "Age Concern is Age UK".

The two local Age Concerns are independent charities that have decided not to accept Age UK’s offer to become brand partners. They claimed the advertising misled people into thinking they were now part of Age UK.

The ASA ruling this week said that some people might not be aware that not all local Age Concerns intended to join Age UK, but most people who saw the name ‘Age Concern’ without a local descriptor associated it with the national charity.

An Age UK spokeswoman said it had monitored the terms people used to find its website and many still typed in ‘Age Concern’. She said that as long as this continued it would continue to say "Age Concern is Age UK".

Chris Perry, director of Age Concern Hampshire, has asked Sir Hayden Phillips, the independent reviewer of ASA adjudications, to review the decision. Perry claims the ASA allowed Age UK to respond to the complaint outside the statutory time limit.

Barrie Duke, chief officer of volunteer-run Age Concern Okehampton and Torridge, said he was disappointed by the verdict and by Age UK’s advertising.

"None of this is to the benefit of older people," he said. "It is just confusing them."

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