Note: This advice is given by the CAP Executive about non-broadcast advertising. It does not constitute legal advice. It does not bind CAP, CAP advisory panels or the Advertising Standards Authority.

In response to ASA concerns about the increasing number of vacuum cleaner marketing communications that breached the Code, in 2001 the CAP Copy Advice team consulted with the vacuum cleaner manufacturers and subsequently wrote a Help Note on Vacuum Cleaner Marketing Communications...

The Help Note gives detailed guidance on key areas including:

1. substantiation - strong performance claims, whether comparative or not, should be backed up by tests. Section 3 goes into detail about the types of tests marketers should carry out before making performance claims. See Sections 4, 5, 6 and 7 for guidance on pick-up performance claims, unqualified performance claims, suction/suction power claims and unqualified ''power/powerful'' claims (Vax Ltd, 26 June 2013);

2. qualification - if the advertised cleaner has both a brush and a hose element, ''best suction/suction power'' superiority claims should be qualified to indicate whether tests were carried out at the hose or at the brush. See Section 6 for more detail on suction/suction power claims;

3. asthma and allergy claims - health benefit claims should be backed up by rigorous clinical trials on human subjects. Claims that relate only to the percentage of allergens that cleaners remove need not, although marketers should still be able to prove those claims (see Section 8 of the Help Note) (Miele Company Ltd, 25 May 2011); and

4. market leadership claims – marketers who want to make product-specific market leadership claims should hold accurate, up-to-date comparative sales figures. For general market leadership claims, marketers should hold both turnover and market share data (see Section 9 of the Help Note).

See also entries on: Substantiation, Comparisons, Types of claims: Objective or subjective superlative and Types of claims: Unsubstantiable

Related Rulings

Dyson Ltd, 21 March 2012

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