CAP issues warning to retailers over mini heater ads

As part of its work to protect consumers during the cost of living crisis, today the Committees for Advertising Practice (CAP) is issuing an Enforcement Notice to advertisers over ads for plug-in mini heaters, warning them to get their house in order and ensure their ads aren’t misleading consumers about the efficacy and money-saving benefits of these devices.

As lots of us are struggling with rising costs, CAP is keenly aware that many people are worried about paying their bills. During the winter, that’s especially true for heating. It’s important therefore that advertisers are particularly sensitive to this moment in time when people, many of whom may be financially or physically vulnerable, are looking for ways to cut back and save money.

In January the ASA banned four plug-in mini heater ads for misleadingly claiming that their devices would allow customers to heat rooms quickly and efficiently, for less cost than using a radiator. None of the advertisers had evidence to back up these claims, and we determined that these devices wouldn’t be more efficient or cost saving than using central heating. The Energy Saving Trust, a trusted voice on energy efficiency and clean energy solutions, backed our findings.

The Enforcement Notice makes clear to advertisers that we will take action when ads break our rules, and we’ll be carrying out enhanced monitoring to ensure claims for mini heaters  are honest and accurate.

Shahriar Coupal, Director of CAP, says:

“During the cost of living crisis, we know that consumers are worried about how they spend their money on essentials. It’s important that ads are honest and not misleading consumers about the best ways to save.

“We’ll be monitoring ads for mini heaters and taking action if they break the rules. This Enforcement Notice requires advertisers to ensure that any claims they make for plug in mini heater devices accurately reflect what their products are capable of.”

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