Ad description

A radio ad for Boots Opticians Ltd, featured a customer testimonial that related to Boots' Opticians range of children's glasses. The customer stated, "They give you free ... like a kids lens which is extra strong so that she's less likely to break them." A further voice-over stated, "Kids ultra-tough lenses with all round UV protection included at no extra cost. Only at Boots Opticians ... ".


Specsavers Ltd, who said their lenses offered complete protection from UV, challenged whether the ad misleadingly implied that the Boots Opticians' lenses were the only lenses that offered complete protection from UV.


Boots Opticians Professional Services Ltd (Boots Opticians) said there was a substantive difference between UV protection and all round UV protection. They acknowledged that other opticians, such as Specsavers, offered UV protection in their children's glasses. They believed the inclusion of all round UV protection, in the form of a UV protective coating applied to both the front and rear of the lens, as standard with no additional costs incurred by the customer was unique to Boots Opticians.

The RACC endorsed Boots Opticians' comments and considered the claim "Only at Boots" that immediately followed the claim was not likely to materially mislead.


Not upheld

The ASA understood that the coating applied to the Boots Opticians' lenses would protect against UV-light hitting the front of the lens and that reflected from the back surface of the lens. The lenses offered by Specsavers at no extra cost offered protection from light hitting the front of the lens only. We considered consumers were likely to understand that the claim "all round UV protection" referred to the front and back coverage offered by the advertiser's product and that "Only at Boots Opticians" highlighted the distinction between the products. We therefore concluded that the claim was not likely to mislead and that the ad did not breach the Code.

We investigated the ad under BCAP Code (Edition 12) rules  3.1 3.1 Advertisements must not materially mislead or be likely to do so.  and  3.2 3.2 Advertisements must not mislead consumers by omitting material information. They must not mislead by hiding material information or presenting it in an unclear, unintelligible, ambiguous or untimely manner.
Material information is information that consumers need in context to make informed decisions about whether or how to buy a product or service. Whether the omission or presentation of material information is likely to mislead consumers depends on the context, the medium and, if the medium of the advertisement is constrained by time or space, the measures that the advertiser takes to make that information available to consumers by other means.
 (Misleading advertising),  3.9 3.9 Broadcasters must hold documentary evidence to prove claims that the audience is 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.  (Qualification) and  3.33 3.33 Advertisements that include a comparison with an identifiable competitor must not mislead, or be likely to mislead, consumers about either the advertised product or service or the competing product or service.  (Comparisons), but did not find it to be in breach.


No further action necessary.


3.1     3.2     3.33     3.9    

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