The website www.hypnosbeds.com, for handmade beds, stated "HYPNOS …THE MOST COMFORTABLE BEDS IN THE WORLD … Awake each morning feeling completely refreshed and revitalised".
The complainant challenged whether the claim "The most comfortable beds in the world" was misleading and could be substantiated.
Hypnos Ltd said that the claim was pure hyperbole and because it would not be interpreted literally it did not require objective substantiation. They said the word 'comfort' was an indefinite characteristic because it was a matter of personal preference. They said comfort for one person would differ from what makes a comfortable bed for another person, which they asserted reinforced their belief that the claim was subjective. They said "most comfortable" was their opinion and would therefore be seen as advertising 'puffery' because the statement could not be empirically tested. Furthermore, they said the word 'world' had a number of definitions, for example, the physical planet earth, the entire universe or the circumstances and experience of a particular person.
The ASA considered that consumers would interpret the claim to refer to the comfort of a mattress and that the bed itself would be an important but secondary factor. We acknowledged that the experienced comfort of mattress types would vary between consumers due to features such as degree of firmness and the characteristics of manufacture, and that consumers would purchase a product based on their individual needs and preferences. Because mattress selection would vary between consumers it would be difficult to establish testing principles to objectively determine whether or not a bed was comfortable for consumers or in comparison with other manufacturers. We therefore concluded that because the claim was subjective, the ad was not misleading.
We investigated the ad under CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 3.1 3.1 Marketing communications must not materially mislead or be likely to do so. and 3.2 (Misleading advertising), 3.7 3.7 Before distributing or submitting a marketing communication for publication, marketers must hold documentary evidence to prove claims that consumers are likely to regard as objective and that are capable of objective substantiation. The ASA may regard claims as misleading in the absence of adequate substantiation. (Substantiation) and 3.38 3.38 Marketing communications that include a comparison with an unidentifiable competitor must not mislead, or be likely to mislead, the consumer. The elements of the comparison must not be selected to give the marketer an unrepresentative advantage. (Other comparisons), but did not find it in breach.
No further action necessary.