Property giant slammed over misleading energy claims

The Advertising Standards Authority has hauled Churchill Retirement Living over the coals after it published energy saving claims fronted by Esther Rantzen.

Esther Rantzen is pictured with a retired heterosexual couple inside an apartment from Churchill Retirement Living. ASA

A Churchill Retirement Living advert featuring TV star Esther Rantzen has been slammed by a watchdog for misleading energy savings claims that buyers could save thousands of pounds per year by downsizing into one of their apartments.

The Advertising Standards Authority ruled that the adverts must not appear again in their current form and that: “Savings claims must be supported by robust evidence and appropriately qualified. In addition, ads must be prepared with a sense of responsibility and should not cause fear or distress without justifiable reason.”


In March last year a website and paid for Facebook post for Churchill Retirement Living stated: “Churchill’s Ambassador Dame Esther Rantzen recently took part in a cost of living mini-feature with Churchill, looking at the savings and energy efficiency benefits of downsizing from a typical three bedroom house to a new Churchill apartment.”

The page included a video, which featured Dame Esther Rantzen (main picture) who said: “At Churchill we did a survey and found one in four retirees are giving up their retirement and going back to work. Some feel pressured to go back to cover their increasing monthly expenses.”


A Churchill Owner identified as “Patricia Chiverton” was introduced. They said: “I don’t think I would have been comfortable having the heating on in the old place. I think I would have rationed myself probably to evenings when I sat down and maybe for an hour in the morning when I got up.”

Dame Esther Rantzen continued: “But energy bills have for many of us have confronted us with an unexpected new challenge. So what, if anything, can be done to help maintain your standard of living when you retire without taking such drastic measures as having to return to work?”

The video showed two men, identified as independent energy experts comparing a three-bedroom semi-detached house with a Churchill apartment.

The total is a whopping one thousand one hundred and sixty saved per year just on energy bills.”

Dame Esther Rantzen said: “With Dion’s calculations now complete we can now tell you when it comes to saving money between the two properties… the total is a whopping one thousand one hundred and sixty saved per year just on energy bills.”

And later she said: “Results show us the energy savings someone could expect if they moved from a three-bedroom property to the Churchill apartment… they would save over one thousand pounds per year on energy alone. But bear in mind this was calculated using energy prices at the time of filming.


“Of course, prices may rise. Dion is independent. His findings are in line with more holistic studies Churchill themselves conducted, which took all the savings from downsizing into account, not just energy and found downsizing to a Churchill apartment could save someone an average of two thousand three hundred pounds per year… We want to help you make the right decision without the pressure. And ultimately to live without worrying about every penny that you spend… take care and stay warm.”

Churchill said that the ads were no longer appearing because they had been part of a seasonal campaign for winter 2022 which was no longer running.

PICTURE: Churchill Retirement Living

Read more about ASA decisions.

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