Security company falsely claimed burglaries increase over summer

Security company falsely claimed burglaries increase over summer

11/10/2021

Home security alarm company falsely claimed burglaries increase during the summer holidays, Advertising Standards Authority rules

  • Verisure alarms claimed residential burglaries increased over the summer
  • The alarm company broadcast the advertisement on TV in June and July 2021
  • Some 18 members of the public complained about the advert’s content 
  • The ASA ruled the ad was misleading said it must not be rebroadcast again 

A security company has been banned by regulators from running an advert which claims that residential burglaries increased in the summer months without any supporting evidence. 

Alarm firm Versiure ran a TV ad during June and July 2021 which showed four people sitting around a table discussing home security and fitting security systems. 

One of the actors claimed ‘there are so many burglaries during the holidays’. 

However, the Advertising Standards Authority ruled that the claim of an increase in residential burglaries over the holiday period had not been substantiated and should not be repeated. 

Verisure tried to defend their advertisement claiming their definition of holidays included any statutory or general holidays including April, May, July, August and December. 

However, 18 members of the public complained the advert was misleading and lodged a complaint with the Advertising Standards Agency. 

An advertisement by Verisure alarms made misleading claims about home burglaries 

The company claimed that residential burglaries increased over the summer holidays without having supporting evidence 

Verisure tried to defend their adversisement claiming their definition of holidays included any statutory or general holidays including April, May, July, August and September

The firm suggested two studies supported their claim, including one piece of research which found that 49.3 per cent of respondents had been burgled in either of those five months. A second study, they claimed, showed rates of burglaries increased when there was a bank holiday or during the summer holiday months. 

The firm also suggested data from the Metropolitan Police, Greater Manchester Police and Hertfordshire Constabulary also supported their claim.  

The company said they wished to run their ‘so many’ burglaries advertisement across all holiday periods.  

However, the ASA said the claim: ‘”There are so many burglaries during the holidays”‘ would be interpreted as an indication that the number of burglaries increased during the summer holiday period.’ 

The ASA ruled there was no evidence to suggest an increase in residential burglaries over the summer period

The watchdog said it ‘would likely influence consumers’ decision on whether or not to install an alarm before that time’.  

According to the ASA, a survey of 1,006 UK adults in November 2017 asked if they had been burgled. 

The figures showed that 503 had been burgled, though only 20 per cent had been targeted over the holidays. 

A second survey found that 10 per cent of victims had been burgled in July with nine per cent in August. 

The ASA said the research did not support the claim of an increase in burglaries over the summer period. 

The watchdog said advice from Scotland Yard and Greater Manchester Police also did not support the claim of an increase in burglaries over the summer.  

The ASA said ‘the ad must not appear again in the form complained of’. The firm were also warned against implying that burglaries increased over the summer period ‘without adequate evidence’. 

MailOnline has approached Verisure for comment.  

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