Advertising Standards Bureau Review of Operations 2014 - Page 63

Claims Board determination - Upheld - Filling a bath to 650C was misleading as it was unrealistic such a temperature would be emitted into a bath or that a householder would not check or adjust the temperature. It was misleading to represent that a temperature of 380C was in any sense guaranteed, as human intervention is still required to set this temperature. It was extremely unlikely that a temperature of 650C would be available in household situations in view of plumbing codes. Issue raised by complainant - The statement “Safe temperatures every time” in point of sale material was misleading as described above. Claims Board determination - Upheld – As consumer intervention is needed on every occasion (which may be unlikely) to ensure the ‘safe’ temperatures alleged by the Advertiser, the statement is misleading. Issue raised by complainant - Web page claims that electric storage water heaters “continuously” use power, were “low efficiency” and “always on, using energy to heat water even when not in use” were untrue and misleading. Claims Board determination - Upheld – Claims that electric storage water heaters ‘continuously’ use power are incorrect as the evidence suggests electricity is only used when the element is heating. Claims that these products suffered from ‘low-efficiency’ were not supported by evidence provided and were therefore misleading. Issue raised by complainant - The web page claim the Product “runs on cheaper, cleaner, natural or LP Gas” was misleading as LP gas is around 2 or 3 times more expensive than natural gas across Australia and running the Product on LP Gas was more expensive than running an electric storage water heater. Claims Board determination - Upheld - The claim was false and misleading as running the product on LP Gas would be more expensive than electricity. It was noted this point was conceded by the advertiser, who agreed to change any such claims to remove any reference to LP Gas. Review of Operations 2014 Issue raised by complainant - The Savings Calculator on the Advertiser’s website was misleading as the amount is calculated using a favourable Victorian tariff from one energy supplier, with such savings unlikely to be achieved in other States. Claims Board determination - Upheld -The savings represented were misleading. The inclusion of the statement “read about how we calculate this” was insufficient to avoid consumers being misled. Issue raised by complainant - The reference to a 12 year warranty in a TVC was misleading because only one component of the product was covered by the warranty, while other parts and labour were covered by a three year warranty. Claims Board determination - Upheld –The Board agreed this was misleading. The superimposition of text “see website for details” was insufficient to avoid consumers being misled or deceived. Issue raised by complainant - Comparisons in a TVC with gas continuous hot water systems labelled ‘cheap’ were misleading as the ‘cheap’ products depicted bore no resemblance to the vast majority of competing products. Similar representations were also made in a webpage under the heading “Cheap Hot Water Unit”. Claims Board determination - Upheld - The Board agreed that the ‘cheap’ product is not representative of the majority of competing brands and, as a result, the various representations made in this regard were also misleading and deceptive. The representations did not amount to a breach of section 1.3 as the Board was not provided with evidence enabling it to determine the representation would be likely to cause any damage to the complainant or any other competitors. Issue raised by complainant - The claim “Burner won’t run at low tap flow rate so water may run cold” was not supported by testing relied on by the advertiser. Claims Board determination - Upheld –The evidence indicated that water may run cold at low flow rates for all units in the test report and virtually at the same levels and as such the claim was misleading and deceptive. The Board was not satisfied the representations amounted to a breach of section 1.3 of the Code. Issue raised by complainant – Comparative claims representing that “most [other products] need costly wiring” while the product requi res “no wires or holes” were misleading because they were silent on the need for a power point or additional work that may be required in providing gas connections to a home. Claims Board determination - Upheld - As all hot water systems require some sort of fittings (gas, water, power etc), not to show these on the product at all was misleading. Issue raised by complainant – Claims representing the solar product as “lighter, cheaper and easier to install” were misleading as they have relatively higher installation costs compared with electric storage water heaters. Claims Board determination - Upheld –The representations were misleading and deceptive as the evidence provided indicated that the product (including the solar version) would in fact have higher installation costs than those of an electric storage water heater, particularly in a replacement situation. The advertiser confirmed it had modified its promotional material in accordance with the Claims Board determinations. 61