A TV ad for a vacuum cleaner featured a woman vacuuming with the product, followed by a shot of the extension tube being compacted. In the next shot, the vacuum was seen, without the extension tube or hose, being placed on a shelf in a cupboard. The voice-over stated, "So there you have it, the smallest, quietest Dyson Ball vacuum".
The complainant challenged whether the ad misleadingly implied that the extension tube and hose could be folded away into the product, when they understood that this was not the case.
Dyson Ltd said the very first section of the ad showed the machine being built up from its component parts, with no hose or wand connected and believed that the image made clear there was no wand or hose 'inside' the machine and that it was clear that there was no space for them. They said that in the next sequence, the wand and hose were visible and in use and were obviously larger than the main body of the machine. They said that the wand was in two parts, one of which slid into the other and that the longest part of the wand was somewhere over twice the length of the main body of the machine and that there was no pathway or area that the hose and wand could fit into. They said the shot of one part of the wand sliding into the other (just before the shot of the lady placing the vacuum into the cupboard) showed the wand was made of two large parts, one of which slid into the other but did not slide into the body of the machine. They believed the image of one part of the wand sliding into the other did not suggest that the wand collapsed down into the main body of the machine, or that it reduced to a size small enough to fit into the main body of the machine. They said that as with all of their cylinder machines, the hose and wand were removable for easy storage and they were often displayed with the hose and wand disconnected.
Clearcast believed the ad did not imply that the attachment folded into the small round vacuum cleaner and said that most consumers would understand that attachments for these smaller machines differed from uprights, where the hose and attachments tended to be contained on or in the machine.
The ASA noted the ad featured a section which showed how the body of the machine was constructed starting from the centre of the machine out to the casing and acknowledged that, upon close examination, it was clear from this presentation that there was unlikely to be room for a large, solid wand and hose. However, we noted the ad also included a scene which demonstrated how part of the wand collapsed into itself and that this was immediately followed by the final scene of the ad, which showed the body of the machine being placed on a small shelf. We considered that viewers would understand from this sequence that one of the advantages of the machine was that it could be stored in a small place and considered that, unless shown otherwise, viewers would understand this to mean that this storage involved the machine in its entirety, including the hose and wand. We therefore considered that consumers would understand from these final scenes that the wand and hose collapsed down further than shown and that it was possible for them to be collapsed down into the body of the machine. Because this was not the case, we concluded that the ad was misleading.
The ad breached BCAP Code rules
Advertisements must not materially mislead or be likely to do so.
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) and 3.12 3.12 Advertisements must not mislead by exaggerating the capability or performance of a product or service. (Exaggeration).
The ad should not appear again in its current form.