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AMP loses fight over KiwiSaver ad

AMP has lost its fight against a complaint laid by advisers about its advertising.

Monday, July 22nd 2019, 6:00AM 2 Comments

It ran a campaign saying that people were “missing out” because they were in KiwiSaver default funds and asking: Are you one?

People were directed to a website called isitme.co.nz where they could enter their IRD number to find out.

But the isitme.co.nz website simply diverted to AMP’s homepage and users were only checked against AMP’s database.

Someone not in the AMP scheme was told: “Hmm, maybe it’s not you? You may have a KiwiSaver account, just not with us. Your provider will be able to tell you if you are in a default fund. Alternatively, it might be a good time to switch to the AMP KiwiSaver Scheme.”

John Cliffe and Rachelle Bland complained to the Financial Markets Authority and the Advertising Standards Authority, saying it was misleading and inappropriate behaviour for a KiwiSaver default provider.

Another AFA, referred to by the Advertising Standards Authority as H Robertson, also complained.

Their complaint was first upheld by the Advertising Standards Authority in May, which ruled it was not clear from the advertisement that only those in an AMP scheme would be able to check their default status.

AMP appealed, saying the "advertisement should be viewed within a broader social responsibility context...the advertisement was not seeking to sell anything and was designed to educate consumers about the importance of KiwiSaver fund choices".

It said the Appeals Board should consider the call from the FMA to do more to encourage people to think about their KiwiSaver outcomes.

“KiwiSaver is not a subject that immediately grabs the public's attention. It requires creative thinking and solutions to get consumers to engage in a discussion about KiwiSaver in situations where a consumer is not otherwise motivated to engage with his or her KiwiSaver provider.”

But the Appeals Board has now upheld the complaint.

Cliffe said it was "appalling" behaviour.

“Effectively ignoring their responsibilities in their KiwiSaver contract and thumbing their nose at the FMA. Their default KiwiSaver contract should not be renewed.”

He said AMP was the largest default provider in member numbers but the worst at engaging them, with more than 100,000 still in the default fund at the end of March.

The campaign is no longer running.

Tags: AMP KiwiSaver

« Make advisers discuss ethical options: CoatesMann on a mission to diversify financial advice »

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Comments from our readers

On 22 July 2019 at 3:37 pm Robert Oddy said:
Well done all three of you. A great outcome for common sense - there hasn't been a lot of evidence in recent times that there is much of that around.
Robert Oddy
On 23 July 2019 at 11:55 am all hat, no cattle said:
the advertisement was not seeking to sell anything

lol

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