ASA Adjudication on Bamboo Textiles Ltd
Bamboo Textiles Ltd
15 December 2010
Internet (sponsored search)
Number of complaints:
A Google sponsored search result stated "Bamboo V's [sic] Organic Cotton. www.bamboo-textiles.co.uk. 100% eco-friendly. Find out why its [sic] better than cotton and good for you".
The complainant challenged whether the claims:
1. that their products were made from bamboo; and
2. "100% eco friendly"
were misleading and could be substantiated.
CAP Code (Edition 12)
Bamboo Textiles said that the claim "100% eco friendly" was supported by an article published in the January 2008 edition of "International Dyer" magazine. They explained that a further article appeared in the same edition of the same magazine that also discussed the benefits of bamboo and the particular benefits offered in the manufacture of clothing. They believed that those articles substantiated their claim that using bamboo for clothing was 100% eco friendly.
Bamboo Textiles also provided an extract of "Frequently Asked Questions", which appeared on the website of another company that sold bamboo clothing. They believed that those FAQs substantiated their claims.
Bamboo Textiles stated that there were local authorities in the UK which subsidised the cost of bamboo nappies as a replacement for disposable ones. They explained that by doing so, those local authorities reduced the amount of landfill sites they used. They added that pesticides were not needed when growing bamboo, whereas the growing of cotton apparently used 20% of all pesticides manufactured in the world.
1. & 2. Upheld
The ASA noted Bamboo Textiles had provided copies of two articles they believed substantiated the claims. However, we considered that the claim "eco-friendly" would be interpreted by consumers to mean that the manufacture of bamboo for clothing would have little or no impact on the environment over the life cycle of the advertised product. We noted that the articles described the manufacture of bamboo from its raw state to its use in clothing. However, we did not consider those articles in themselves were sufficient evidence to demonstrate that the manufacture of bamboo to make clothing had little or no impact on the environment, or that the clothing sold by Bamboo Textiles was actually made from bamboo. Because we had not seen robust evidence to substantiate the claims made in the ad, we concluded the ad was misleading.
The ad breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 3.1 (Misleading advertising), 3.7 (Substantiation) and 11.1 and 11.3 (Environmental claims).
The ad must not appear again in its current form.
Adjudication of the ASA Council (Non-broadcast)