Advertising Standards Bureau Review of Operations 2014 - Page 62

Rheem Australia Pty Ltd v Rinnai Australia Pty Ltd Dyson Appliances (Aust) Pty Limited v Samsung Electronics Australia Pty Ltd The complaint related to a series of advertisements, including television, online, point of sale material and a swing-tag attached to the product, forming part of a campaign for the Samsung Motion Sync Vacuum Cleaner. The advertiser argued the ‘swing tag’ should not be considered on the basis it was a product label and therefore “Excluded Marketing or Advertising” under the Code. However, the Board disagreed, noting the swing tag was intended to promote the product and to be removed from the product prior to use. The complainant alleged the advertisements breached Sections 1.1 and 1.2 of the Code on the basis that they were misleading and deceptive. Two claims were disputed relating to the product’s suction and dust sensor function. The advertiser informed the Board that the original claim relating to the dust sensor function had been revised, and as a result both the original claim and revised claim were considered by the Board. Issue raised by Complainant - The statement, “powerful suction that lasts”, which is used in each of the advertising materials, was not substantiated and is therefore misleading because the suction power of the Product “declines both immediately and significantly during use”. Claims Board determination - Dismissed - it is unlikely that an ordinary consumer would consider the claim to mean that the product will stay at peak suction power at all times during usage until the point of bin full. Rather, it may be reasonable to expect that the suction power would decrease, to some extent, as the product approaches bin full. The Board agreed with the advertiser’s submissions that the 13% drop in suction power measured by the complainant does not mean that the product does not remain relatively powerful. 60 Issue raised by Complainant - Claims made about the Dust Sensor feature of the product that “As soon as the area is completely cleaned the light changes to green” were misleading as the user manual states that it functions only as a rough indicator of dust removal. Claims Board determination - No determination –the Board considered this claim was most likely misleading or deceptive. However, as the Advertiser advised that this wording had been amended, it decided that a final determination was not required. Issue raised by Complainant - The advertiser’s revised claim relating to the Dust Sensor function of the product states “The light changes to green when a large amount of dust has been picked up”. The complainant submitted that the revised claim was also misleading because it was inconsistent with the stated function of the Dust Sensor in the product’s user manual. Claims Board determination - Dismissed - the revised wording more correctly reflected the Dust Sensor’s functionality. The level of generality in the representation of the revised claim meant that it was likely a reasonable consumer would expect the product’s Dust Sensor to only be roughly accurate in its measurement of what constitutes a “large” amount of dust. The Board considered the revised claim was not false, misleading or deceptive. Finding no breaches of section 1.1 or 1.2 of the Code, the Board dis