ASA Adjudication on Safehouse Habitats (Scotland) Ltd
Safehouse Habitats (Scotland) Ltd
Units 2 and 3
11 July 2012
Internet (on own site)
Industrial and engineering
Number of complaints:
A video, that appeared on www.safehousehabitats.com, for a habitat system for on- and offshore oil and gas rigs, stated "Weighing only 300 kilos our system is easily transportable and incredibly easy to install ... The Safehouse habitat system has been designed and engineered to suit the extreme conditions of the oil and gas industry ... The innovative design of the Safehouse habitat allows it to be installed in the most congested areas of offshore production platforms or onshore plants". A visualisation showed a Safehouse habitat being installed. Further text stated "As the only fully ATEX approved habitat system being used by the oil and gas industry worldwide, you can be assured that Safehouse Habitats have the experience, resources and capabilities to satisfy the most stringent risk-management standards wherever you are in the world".
STS Resources and Technology (STS), who said their own habitat system was also fully ATEX approved and used worldwide, challenged whether the claim that the advertiser's system was the only fully ATEX approved habitat system being used by the oil and gas industry worldwide, was misleading.
CAP Code (Edition 12)
Safehouse Habitats (Scotland) Ltd (Safehouse Habitats) said their habitat came with a complete system which included electrical equipment. They also said the ATEX Directive required equipment, intended for use in potentially hazardous areas, to go through a detailed process of examination, testing and assessment and that, upon successful completion, an ATEX certificate would be issued, together with a report that confirmed and demonstrated that the product was safe to use within potentially explosive atmospheres. They submitted five ATEX certificates, which they said related to all components of their habitat system and demonstrated that they were fully ATEX approved.
They said they had undertaken a detailed review of all the publicly available material in relation to their competitors' habitat systems, in order to support the claim that they had the only fully certified system. They submitted a statement from their Managing Director, which indicated that they had obtained ATEX certification from the UK's leading notified body, not only for the components within their habitat, but also the habitat itself. It also indicated that the notified body had confirmed that Safehouse Habitats was the only company they were aware of who held ATEX certification for the habitat itself, as well the components. They also submitted information from the STS website and an extract from an STS brochure that stated that all relevant equipment of STS's Flexi Habitat System was certified and approved for ATEX Zone 1. They said, because "all relevant equipment" implied that some of the equipment in their competitor's system (that which was not relevant) was not ATEX certified they were not able to claim that their system was "fully" ATEX approved. They said, were STS able to demonstrate that they had full ATEX certification for their system, including the habitat itself, they would remove the word "only" from their marketing communications.
The ASA noted from Safehouse Habitats that their system consisted of five components: a portable temporary pressurised habitat (the habitat system itself); a GSM gas sensing module; a portable fan; an air conditioning unit; and a welding control shutdown system. The certificates submitted demonstrated that each of these components had been approved under the ATEX directive. Because all components of the system had been ATEX approved, including the habitat itself, we considered that it was reasonable for Safehouse Habitats to claim that their system was fully ATEX approved.
We understood that STS believed the claim that the advertiser's system was the only fully ATEX approved habitat system that was used worldwide was misleading, because they had their own system that was also fully ATEX approved and used worldwide. However, the STS website stated that the electrical equipment in their habitat was covered by valid ATEX certificates and their brochure stated that all relevant equipment used for the operation of the STS habitat was certified and approved for ATEX Zone 1. This implied that the equipment used within their habitat, rather than the habitat itself, had been ATEX approved.
The video stated "As the only fully ATEX approved habitat system being used by the oil and gas industry worldwide ... The innovative design of the Safehouse habitat allows it to be installed in the most congested areas" and showed a visualisation of the habitat being installed, along with its components. We considered that, in that context, consumers were likely to understand that Safehouse Habitats offered a system that included the habitat, which was fully ATEX approved, and that there was no other provider who also offered this. While STS claimed that relevant equipment for use in their habitat was fully ATEX approved, Safehouse Habitats claimed that their habitat and its equipment was ATEX approved. We considered that, based on the information provided, Safehouse Habitats had substantiated the claim that they offered the only fully ATEX approved habitat system, used by the oil and gas industry worldwide, and therefore concluded that it was not misleading.
We investigated the ad under CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 3.1 and 3.3 (Misleading advertising), 3.7 (Substantiation), 3.33 and 3.35 (Comparisons with identifiable competitors) but did not find it in breach.
No further action necessary.