Direct Line Winston Wolf ad escapes ad ban

Direct Line's high profile re-launch campaign starring Harvey Keitel has avoided censure from the Advertising Standards Authority, despite complaints it was misleading.

In the TV ad a woman is seen checking the damage to her car caused by another driver. Harvey Keitel then appears as the Wolf character he played in Pulp Fiction to sort things out.

Keitel says, "Winston Wolf, I'm here to help ... Do me a favour and send your photographs to my people. They'll take the car in and fix it within seven days or someone will pay… Direct Line will pay you £10 a day until the job is done."

As he speaks on-screen text explains, "£10 payment starts on day 8 & is limited to £70. To meet our high quality & safety standards some repairs will take longer."

In the final scene of the ad, the on-screen text states, "cars repaired within 7 days" and then "or we pay you £10 a day up to a limit of £70".

Nine complaints questions whether the line "Direct Line will pay you £10 a day until the job is done" was misleading because it contradicted the on-screen text that stated the limit was £70.

The ASA considered that viewers would consider from Keitel’s speech that the payments were not limited but decided that the clarity and prominence of the two sets of on-screen text adequately clarified his statement.

The watchdog, therefore ruled that viewed in its entirety, the ad was unlikely to mislead viewers and so was not in breach of the Broadcasting Code.