ASA Adjudication on Ultravox Holdings Ltd
Ultravox Holdings Ltd t/a
SieTech Hearing Ltd
22 August 2007
Health and beauty
Number of complaints:
A regional press ad read "Important Hearing Aid News for Chichester 'Best Value' Hearing Aid Centre NOW OPEN SieTech Hearing ... Because of the expertise and depth of expertise and depth of knowledge of its experienced staff, SieTech can guarantee all its customers the very best help and advice ... the Chichester centre, which offers the most complete and comprehensive service in the area. It is equipped with all the latest hearing health screening facilities ... The centre also offers a complete aftercare service for existing hearing aid users ... FREE 4 MINUTE VIDEO OTOSCOPY ... FREE AUDICLEAN OFFER ... FREE HEARING ASSESSMENT ... FREE 'SEE-TRY-HEAR' If you have hearing loss you will have the opportunity to try for yourself the latest range of 'Best Value' hearing aids from SIEMENS ...".
Specsavers Hearcare challenged whether the claim "'Best value' hearing aids from Siemens" misleadingly implied that SieTech would supply Siemens hearing aids at a lower price than their competitors.
CAP Code (Edition 11)
SieTech Hearing Ltd (SieTech) said the aim of the ad was to underline the specialist services available at the hearing centre. They said they strongly believed that "best value" referred not only to the competitive prices at which customers could purchase their products, but also to the professional services provided by their staff. SieTech explained that those services included detailed, free consultations prior to purchase to determine the most appropriate hearing system for the customer and, post-purchase, ensuring that customers had unrestricted access to the professional services and facilities available through their centres. They argued that their high-quality products, coupled with their full, free after-care support, meant their service could be accurately described as best value.
We noted SieTech's explanation that they had intended the claim "best value" to refer not only to their competitive prices, but also to the high level of service offered to their customers. We acknowledged that, depending upon the context, value could be interpreted to refer to factors other than price. We noted there were several references to "best value" in the ad, none of which explicitly referred to price. We therefore considered that readers of the ad would be likely to interpret the claim to refer to SieTech's opinion of the value of their products and services, as a whole, not as a claim that SieTech's prices would always be lowest. We concluded that the ad was unlikely to mislead.
We investigated the ad under CAP Code clauses 3.1 (Substantiation), 7.1 (Truthfulness), 8.1 (Opinion) and 19.1 (Fair comparison) but did not find it in breach.
No further action necessary.
Adjudication of the ASA Council (Non-broadcast)