Advertising Standards Bureau Review of Operations 2014 - Page 64

Samsung Electronics Australia Pty Ltd v Dyson Appliances (Aust) Pty Limited The complaint related to a series of advertisements, including television, online, print materials and product packaging, forming part of a campaign for the Dyson Cinetic DC54 range of vacuum cleaners. The complainant alleged that the advertisements breached Sections 1.1, 1.2 and 1.3 of the code on the basis that they were misleading and deceptive and contained misrepresentations likely to cause damage to competitors. The complaint alleged breaches on the basis of numerous performance and comparative claims in the advertising. Issue raised by complainant - The advertisements conveyed messages that the product eliminates any need to maintain or clean any filter, but that the product contains a steel mesh device (the shroud) which performs all the functions of an ordinary pre-motor filter, requiring users to undertake constant maintenance by scraping the steel mesh (or filter) in order to achieve acceptable levels of suction. Claims Board determination - Upheld - The ordinary consumer is likely to understand that the shroud is, and/or performs the function of, a filter. The shroud clearly needs to be maintained as admitted by the advertiser. The Claims Board unanimously agreed that the representation was misleading and deceptive or likely to mislead and deceive and constituted a false representation as to performance characteristics and benefits of the product in breach of clauses 1.1 and 1.2 of the Code. Issue raised by complainant - The advertiser’s claims regarding no loss of suction were misleading as the vacuum experiences significant loss of suction where maintenance is not undertaken on the unit or when the bin canister is filled with dust. 62 Claims Board determination - Dismissed The ordinary consumer is likely to interpret the representations in the context of the product being used in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. The Claims Board was of the view that the complainant had not substantiated its claims and so had not established breaches of sections 1.1, 1.2 or 1.3 of the Code in relation to this representation. Issue raised by complainant - The representation that the vacuum offers a large bin capacity was false and misleading. Claims Board determination - Dismissed - The Board was not satisfied that the complainant had demonstrated with sufficient evidence that the bin capacity was not large. Issue raised by complainant - The statement ‘the only vacuum with no maintenance of filters, no bags to buy and no loss of suction’ was misleading as other products offer one or more of these elements. Claims Board determination - Upheld in part - The representation was likely to be construed conjunctively by ordinary consumers. However, for the same reasons as above, the Claims Board found the claim of no filter maintenance to be misleading and deceptive and constituted false representations in breach of clauses 1.1 and 1.2 of the Code. The Claims Board found that the complainant failed to provide evidence that any of the claims were likely to cause damage to the business or goodwill of a competitor and was unable to determine any breach to clause 1.3 of the Code. The advertiser confirmed it had modified its promotional material in accordance with the Claims Board determination. Advertising Standards Bureau