Ad description

A paid-for online display ad and a landing page on the website, for Heater Pro, a plug-in mini heater, seen in September 2022:

a. The paid-for ad, seen on a news website, included an image of a hand holding a plug-in heater, and stated, “Use This To Stay Warm & Save Money This Winter. If you hate the cold but don’t want to raise your heating bills, you need to get this”.

b. The landing page had the headline, “Is This New Compact Heater The Perfect Solution To The UK Gas Crisis? See how you can stay warm this winter, without going broke … Analysts are warning us this winter will be “extremely expensive, tough and long for many Brits … Of course, food and fuel costs have shot up also, which is adding to the stress and panic for many”. Text continued, “It'll warm up your rooms quickly, efficiently, and most importantly - cheaply! ... If you hate being cold, but don't want massive central heating bills - this is the best solution we can see right now … Heater Pro invented a Rapid Heating System that within 3 minutes covers a 350 sqft room in a cozy [sic] warm atmosphere … You'll easily be able to quickly increase the temperature around you in any space within a matter of minutes … Saves Money – Most Importantly he [sic] Heater Pro will save you on tons of gas & electricity”.


The ASA challenged whether the claims in ads (a) and (b) that the product could provide cheap heating and help save money could be substantiated and were misleading.


Ecom7 Ltd did not respond to the ASA's enquiries.

Yahoo said the ad was placed by an ad agency (the Yahoo client using their ad tech services), not the advertiser itself. The agency removed the ad on 2 October 2022. When Yahoo was made aware of the ASA complaint, it decided to stop all similar ads from the agency.


The ASA was concerned by Ecom7 Ltd’s (Ecom7) lack of response and apparent disregard for the Code, which was a breach of CAP Code (Edition 12) rules  1.7 1.7 Any unreasonable delay in responding to the ASA's enquiries will normally be considered a breach of the Code.  (Unreasonable delay). We reminded them of their responsibility to respond promptly to our enquiries and told them to do so in future.


Ad (a) said, “Use This To Stay Warm”, that the product could “Save Money This Winter” and would not “raise your heating bills”. In addition, ad (b) focused on the “UK Gas Crisis” and the allegedly tough upcoming winter and how consumers should expect large central heating bills, all in the context of the cost of living crisis. It further made repeated references to the product being able to keep people warm at a low cost, such as “It'll warm up your rooms quickly, efficiently, and most importantly - cheaply”. We considered that consumers would interpret the ads as offering a product that was an alternative to other heating systems, particularly gas central heating, because it provided heating more economically than any other products on the market, which was crucial at a time of high food and petrol prices and an imminent difficult winter. We also considered that the ads presented the heater as providing an economical source of heating which could effectively heat a typical room or home. This was further emphasised by the reference in ad (b) to the product being able to “within 3 minutes covers a 350 sqft room in a cozy [sic] warm atmosphere”.

We sought a view from the Energy Saving Trust. They stated that if someone wanted to heat a whole house then gas central heating, compared to single electric heaters, were preferable because gas was currently cheaper than electricity and because central heating radiators were able to heat rooms just as effectively by creating natural convection currents. They said that was especially the case with central heating with a full set of heating controls.

With regards to heating single rooms they said due to the relative price of electricity it would likely be cheaper to run one radiator from the gas central heating, than an electric heater continuously. They explained that even homes with electric heating, typically had electric storage heaters that could use the Economy7 tariff during off peak hours, which would be cheaper than the standard electricity tariff the advertiser’s product would run off. They also stated that a single small electric fan heater would be unlikely to be able to supply the amount of heat needed for a typical sized living room or kitchen. Multiple electric heaters would be required to provide comfort levels equivalent to a central heating system, in any home except a small single room apartment.

Ecom7 Ltd had provided no evidence that their product provided the equivalent heating capabilities of gas central heating or similar electric heaters, either in a single room or in a whole house, at a cheaper cost. They had also provided no evidence that the heater provided an economical form of heating which could effectively heat a typical room or home, including that it could heat a 350 sqft room in three minutes. We understood that it was highly unlikely that a small (in this case plug-in) electric heater would be a viable source of sufficient heating for most households. We therefore concluded that the claims, in the absence of any evidence, had not been substantiated and were likely to mislead.

The ads 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 ads must not appear again in their current form. We told Ecom7 Ltd not to state or imply that their mini heater provided a viable alternative to central heating or that it provided economical or cheap heating, including by not repeating the claims, “It'll warm up your rooms … cheaply!”, “If you … don't want massive central heating bills - this is the best solution” and “Saves Money” or similar claims in future. We also told them not to repeat the claim that it could heat a 350 sqft room in three minutes. We referred the matter to the CAP compliance team.

CAP Code (Edition 12)

1.7     3.1     3.7     3.11    

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