ASA Adjudication on BNL Media Ltd
BNL Media Ltd
79 Bridge Road
29 August 2012
Number of complaints:
A TV ad, for the "Light n Easy Iron n Garment Steamer", stated "Squeeze the button once for a burst of steam" as a woman held the product and sprayed steam directly onto her hand.
One viewer challenged whether the shot of a woman spraying steam onto her hand was irresponsible.
BNL Media Ltd (BNL) said the "Lite n Easy Iron n Garment Steamer" produced standard steam, not super heated steam. They highlighted that in the ad the steam only just reached the woman's outstretched hand. Therefore, they stated that the distance between the woman's hand and the iron was sufficient to ensure that the steam had condensed to warm water vapour and would not burn or harm her. They noted that the shot was simply intended to represent the fact that the iron could produce a burst of steam.
Clearcast said the scene was initially unscripted but that when the video was submitted, they sought advice from the advertiser. Clearcast were reassured by BNL's comments that the steam would condense rapidly when it left the iron. They also noted that the volume and pressure of steam produced by the Light n Easy Iron was much lower than a conventional iron. They re-emphasised that the distance between the hand and the iron meant that it was very unlikely to cause any harm to the user.
The ASA acknowledged that in the circumstances shown in the shot (the low pressure of the Lite n Easy Iron in comparison with a conventional iron, and the distance between the iron and the woman's hand) the product was very unlikely to burn the user. We considered, however, that in most circumstances it was inadvisable to spray steam onto one's hand or skin. We also noted that many individuals might not realise the differences between the Lite n Easy Iron and conventional steam irons, and that if the behaviour shown in the ad was emulated with a more powerful iron or with a reduced distance between the hand and the Lite n Easy Iron, an individual could suffer from burns. We therefore concluded that the ad was irresponsible.
The ad breached BCAP Code rules 1.2 (Compliance) and 4.4 (Harm and offence).
The ad must not be broadcast again in its current form. We advised BNL Media Ltd to remove the scene in question from the ad in future.