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By Rebecca Stewart, Trends Editor

February 3, 2016 | 2 min read

A campaign from featuring longtime brand mascot Gio Compario making a comeback has been banned by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) for ‘misleading’ customers, following a complaint from rival

The TV ad, dubbed ‘Gio’s Return’ (which can be viewed above in full) saw the character return to screens following an 18 month break and featured a voice-over saying "Tonight, back by popular demand, the man who has enriched the lives of millions.”

Behind him, revolving text read “Over 40 million customers”, in reference to the numbers served by from 2006 to 2015. An accompanying poster campaign stated that users the service had helped users save billions, reading “£3/4 billion saved”. said the figures stated in the TV did not accurately reflect the number of individuals using the service, and that the strapline on the poster campaign was “ambiguous” as whether the amount was 'three to four billion' or 'three quarters of a billion' and as such, misleading.

The watchdog upheld the complaint in relation to the TV ad, stating that action should have been taken to ensure the 40 million customer claim was “realistic”, adding “reasonable steps should have been taken to determine whether accounts were duplicates and exclude an estimate of these from the final figure.”

However, it disagreed with the complaint around the OOH drive, agreeing with GoCompare that the approach used in the billboard was a “generally recognisable way of presenting a fraction”.

The ASA advised that the TV campaign, which was created by Chris & Siân Wilkins, must not be shown again in its current form.

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