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Sage gets wrist slapped by ASA

Watchdog finds IT companies exaggerating claims. Surely not...

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Three IT companies were reprimanded by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) in its report this month. Sage was in trouble over an ad for accountancy software aimed at small businesses dealing with the euro. Pegasus Group challenged Sage's statement that: "Existing currency conversion practices simply will not work." Pegasus said converting between the pound and the euro was the same process as between the pound and the dollar. Sage said the advertisement invited enquiries and offered more information, and was intended to raise awareness among small businesses of the impact of the euro and the importance of early planning. The ASA said Sage's claim "was simplistic, exaggerated the need for companies to change their accountancy software now that the euro had been introduced elsewhere, and was misleading". London-based CACI received a complaint about an advertisement for a consumer database. "Find new customers -– Lifestyles UK is the most extensive and comprehensive consumer database available in the UK. Rank all 44 million adults individually using a customised combination of 300 lifestyle selections," it claimed. Rival Claritas said that its Lifestyles Universe database had 382 selections, more than CACI's 300, and therefore CACI's was not the "most extensive". The ASA asked CACI not to repeat its claim. Optisoft, which sets up PC systems for the optical profession, got its wrists slapped after saying it was the market leader. The York-based company said it had more users and more installed sites than any other supplier, and therefore the claim was justified. The Authority said Optisoft had not substantiated the claim, and asked them not to repeat it. ®

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