A Teleshopping presentation for the mattress brand Dormeo seen on 30 April 2018, featured a clip of a woman jumping on a mattress which had glasses filled with red wine along the side. On-screen text read “No transfer of movement Dormeo memory classic”. During the presentation the presenter said, “Well … take a look at this demonstration; these wine glasses don’t spill when direct pressure is applied because there isn’t that transfer of movement from one side of the bed to the other. Which is why when your partner moves you don’t feel it and you stay fast asleep. But that certainly isn’t the case with a spring mattress.” The following shot showed the same woman jumping on a mattress which also had glasses filled with red wine along the side. The wine glasses fell over and on-screen text read “Spring mattress”. The following shot showed both clips side by side with the first headed “Dormeo memory classic” and the second “Spring mattress”. During the clip the presenters said, “Oh … that’s a total mess. But the Dormeo memory classic absorbs the pressure.”
The ASA received five complaints. All the complainants believed that the mattress demonstrations were not identical and challenged whether the comparison was misleading.
Dormeo said they had used the same style of demonstration in their infomercials and on TV since around 2014. In that time they had not received any complaints or any returns of the product based on the fact it did not perform as shown in the ad.
They said the clip demonstrated the ability of the memory mattress to absorb pressure and that when the woman jumped on the mattress it showed how much energy was dispersed to other parts of the mattress when energy was applied in one location. The test was conducted on both a coil spring mattress and the memory foam mattress.
They explained that coil spring mattresses by their nature would transfer motion from one side to another, as each of the springs was connected by the same wire throughout the mattress. This meant that movement would transfer across no matter where the person was jumping on the mattress, as shown in the demonstration. They admitted that the person jumping on the spring mattress was slightly closer to the glasses, but they said that due to the nature of the comparison product (the coil spring mattress) it would not matter if the person jumping was on the far side. They provided a video which showed a man jumping in the same place on a spring coil mattress and a memory foam mattress. They further said that it was not their intention to mislead consumers.
Clearcast said that the advertiser had tested the ability of the mattress to absorb pressure by conducting tests that measured how much energy dispersed to other parts of the mattress after applying energy in a single location. They said they were confident that the test data would demonstrate that the distance between the wine glasses and the person jumping up and down made little or no difference to the outcome because the memory foam absorbed the downward pressure rather than transfering it to the surrounding environment which resulted in a significant reduction of motion transfer.
The ASA considered that consumers would interpret the demonstration to mean that motion did not transfer across the Dormeo memory foam mattress, but that it did with a coil spring mattress, and that the principle applied particularly when another person moved on the other side of the bed. Dormeo provided us with a video which showed examples of their own coil spring mattress and memory foam mattress in the same set up as the ad. The video showed a man first jumping down the left side of a coil spring mattress and then jumping in the same place on a memory foam mattress. As in the ad, the demonstration showed the wine glasses falling over on the coil spring mattress and not on the memory foam mattress. We therefore concluded that although the comparison shown in the ad was not identical due to the woman jumping slightly closer to the wine glasses on the spring mattress, the claim was not misleading.
We investigated the ad under BCAP Code rules 3.1 (Misleading advertising) and 3.38 (Other comparisons), but did not find it in breach.
No further action required.