A national press ad, for a cordless lamp, viewed in February 2012, was headed "Cordless anywhere lamp provides light where it's needed". Text stated "Enjoy the convenience of the battery operated Cordless Anywhere Lamp, which brings light to any area as no wall socket or mains power is required. Use beside armchair, sofa, in the conservatory, shed or garage, practically anywhere. Ten energy efficient lifetime LED bulbs (each bulb burn time is 100,000 hours) produce a bright white near-daylight pool of light, perfect for reading, crafting and hobbies and even for putting on make-up. LED bulbs also help to relieve eyestrain and headaches. Sturdy, on weighted base, its height adjusts telescopically between 1.14m and 1.54m, with flexible head to angle light directly as needed. Uses 4xAA batteries (not supplied). CORDLESS ANYWHERE LAMP". The ad featured an image of a woman sitting underneath a lamp with light shining on her.
The complainant challenged whether the ad, and the image in particular, exaggerated the efficacy and brightness of the product.
Easylife Group stated they had received very few complaints regarding the product and they fully expected it to provide more than enough light to read from the distance indicated in the picture, which they estimated at around 25 inches. They said the lamp was adjustable to ensure consumers could achieve the correct positioning for their needs. They said the image was based on their experience and knowledge of the product.
The ASA noted the complainant stated they could not read with the lamp further than six inches away due to the amount of light being produced. Whilst we noted that Easylife Group said they expected the product to provide more than enough light to read from the distance indicated in the ad, because we had not seen evidence that demonstrated how much light was produced by the lamp, we concluded that the ad was misleading.
The ad breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 3.1 3.1 Marketing communications must not materially mislead or be likely to do so. (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 3.11 3.11 Marketing communications must not mislead consumers by exaggerating the capability or performance of a product. (Exaggeration).
The ad must not appear again. We told Easylife Group to ensure they do not mislead about the performance of a product in future.