Misleading advertising: Imperial GB Ltd breaks the UK Ad Rules for making misleading claims that their Neverstick and Neverstick 2 pans are 2-7 times stronger than other non-sticks on the websites and
The ASA investigated whether ads on the and websites misleadingly implied that their pans were 2-7 times stronger than other non-stick pans.
Imperial stated that they had carried out their own independent testing which they believed substantiated their comparative claims. They provided us with this information. Further material was also available but they were not prepared to disclose this due to its commercially sensitive nature.

The ASA considered the information provided by Imperial and although they found this was a suitable method of assessing the performance of their pans alongside their competitors, there was no explanation given as to why Imperial’s pans had out-performed their competitors so significantly.

The complainant - Group SEB who are a competitor to Imperial, completed their own testing and provided the ASA with these results. We found that Groupe SEB’s testing included the Neverstick and Neverstick2 pans, in addition to one of their own pans. Imperial had not tested one of Groupe SEB’s pans. The results of Group SEB’s testing, the ASA also found to be acceptable, but in no way superior to Imperials’ testing methods. The ASA found Group SEB’s testing showed an alternative result, this being that their pan appeared to be stronger than the Neverstick and Neverstick2 pan.

Given how both similar methods provided different results, the ASA questioned Imperial’s testing and how this outperformed their competitors so significantly. As Imperial were unwilling to provide further information or an explanation, the ASA concluded that Imperial’s claims for “5 times stronger than other non-sticks" and “7 times stronger than other non-sticks" hadn’t been substantiated and were likely to mislead.

The ASA also looked at the comparisons Imperial made with identifiable competitors and whether this was verifiable. The ASA didn’t consider the explanation given by Imperial was sufficient for their claims to be verified, and so concluded the comparative claims in the ad were not verifiable.

The CAP Compliance team instructed Imperial to amend their website to comply with the Code. As Imperial didn’t show willingness to comply, we took the decision on 23 January 2019 to place them on this section of the ASA website. These details will remain in place until such a time as Imperial GB Ltd has amended their advertising to ensure compliance with the CAP Code.

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