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Hopewiser rapped by ASA over 'unbeaten accuracy' claim for Atlas software

LONDON – The Advertising Standards Authority has asked address management software provider Hopewiser to withdraw a product claim following a complaint from competitor QAS.

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The claim, made in mailshots sent to prospects by Hopewiser, was that its Atlas address management software suite had "unbeaten accuracy in independent tests".

QAS complained to the ASA in October, challenging whether the claim could be substantiated. Hopewiser withdrew the claim when it heard from the ASA about the complaint and submitted evidence in support of the claim.

The ASA concluded that the evidence did not substantiate the claim because it did not constitute a copy of the independent tests and was only a market survey. It told Hopewiser not to repeat the claim unless it held documentary evidence to support it.

A QAS spokesman said: "We're pleased with this result, which reflects our efforts in protecting the excellent reputation of QAS and its products. However, the 7,500 customers we have in the UK alone remain the best endorsement of that reputation."

Hopewiser director Barbara Good said that the company would not use the claim again, but she disagreed with the ASA's judgment that the company's evidence was an independent market survey and not an independent test.

According to Good, independent tests were carried out on Hopewiser's Atlas software and competing software by an Australian customer relationship marketing software consultancy called ID3 in 2004. The tests were not commissioned by Hopewiser, but ID3 supplied it with information from the tests.

Hopewiser is a business-to-business address management software and geographical information supplier, and has been operating since 1982. It has had a branch office in Australia for six years and its turnover for 2003-2004 was £2.7m, according to Good.

QAS provides address management and data accuracy software and has offices in the UK, Europe, North America and Asia Pacific. Its 2003 turnover was more than £40m and it was acquired by Experian in October 2004 for £106m.

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