Nationwide has received the news that its recent advert has been banned by the Advertising Standard Authority (ASA).

Complaints were made about the advertisement campaign in its appearance across television, radio and print. There were 282 complainants about the campaign, including Santander. The complaints believed that that Nationwide had recently closed or reduced opening hours at a number of branches, and therefore challenged whether the ads were misleading.

The campaign highlights that Nationwide was not closing any more branches from now until 2026. There is great emphasis on the phrase: “Unlike the big banks we’re not closing our branches.”

Nationwide’s advert deemed as misleading

However, the advert fails to mention the previously closed branches and the number of branches that are now operating at a reduced capacity. This was noted by Retail Banker International in a reaction to the advert when it aired in October.

ASA report on the outcome of the complaint commented: “In relation to the claims in the ads, they explained that they had used the present tense, rather than the past tense, to indicate that their Branch Promise referred to future branch closures and believed that consumers would interpret the claims as future-facing.”

The action taken from this news means that the ad must not appear again in its current form. Asa has informed Nationwide Building Society not to mislead concerning the closure of their branches. Nationwide has yet to comment on the news and it is unknown as to how the company will respond, whether to pull the advert completely or to release an edited version.

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It is also hard to say whether the advert will still be seen as a success for the Building Society, while it has been removed, it has endured a must-talked-about six-month run, certainly making Nationwide’s point made, albeit, a point now deemed somewhat misleading.