One of London’s fastest growing fintech firms, Revolut, has admitted to the Financial Times newspaper that it made up statistics in a high-profile ad campaign.
The FT also said the company’s actions have now been referred to the Financial Conduct Authority by ad industry watchdog, the Advertising Standards Authority.
Made up statistics
In its latest ad campaign, Revolut claimed that more than 11,000 customers had bought a vegan sausage roll in the past month, and that on last Valentine’s Day last year, 12,750 customers had ordered a takeaway meal for one.
However, the FT reported that Revolut, in line with other financial institutions can only know the merchant and value of an individual transaction, and is not privy to more granular levels of information, such as what the money is being spent on.
Millennial blogger, Iona Bain called the firm out for the single shaming ad and said she has reported it the to ASA. FT said that when it challenged the company, “Revolut’s media spokesperson confirmed that the numbers used in the advertisements were “just made up”.
The spokesperson also acknowledged that the advertising campaign did not make clear that the examples used were fictitious, the newspaper reported.
“It’s a fair point. We should have had a line in the ad saying this is a spoof,” the FT quoted the spokesperson as saying.
Revolut has grown rapidly as a disruptor in the financial services space by offering card holders fee-free foreign currency transactions, ATM withdrawals and bank transfers.
In an act of contrition, Revolut, which is based in east London, posted an image on its Facebook page saying it was holding a Valentine’s day party next week.
“We’re sad to hear that a small number of people were offended by our tube ad. That’s why we’ll be hosting a drinks event on Valentine’s Day for anyone who doesn’t yet have plans. P.S vegan sausage rolls will be served.”