Ad description

A website for Ecozone,, an eco-friendly household goods company, seen on 13 July 2018, featured a product page for a twin pack of toilet blocks. Text on the page stated “Simply pop the small jar into the cistern where Forever Flush toilet block will continue to work effectively for up to 2000 flushes”.


The complainant challenged whether the claim “will continue to work effectively for up to 2000 flushes” was misleading and could be substantiated.


Ecozone Ltd said the term “up to” made clear to consumers that the product could last for up to 2,000 flushes. That term was widely used for other similar household cleaning products and was standard terminology to describe to consumers approximately how many uses they could expect from a product.

Ecozone provided an internal trial of the product and the summary of a survey completed by members of the public. During the internal trial, the product was placed in the cistern of a household toilet and the toilet was flushed 18 times a day, Monday to Friday, a total of 90 times a week, in accordance with average use. The product was weighed and a sample of the water was collected weekly. The results showed that the product lasted for 24 weeks, or 2,160 flushes, and the formulation was consistently released at an average of 4 g per week. For the public survey, ten households were given the product and they reported on how many weeks it lasted for. Homes similar to the laboratory test condition gave a result of 23–24 weeks. For households with a higher number of people, the product lasted from 21 to 22 weeks.



The ASA considered that consumers would understand from the claim “will continue to work effectively for up to 2000 flushes, helping to prevent stains and limescale” that the Forever Flush would generally help to prevent stains and limescale for close to, or around, 2,000 flushes, but could last for fewer in some circumstances.

We reviewed the evidence submitted by Ecozone. We acknowledged that Ecozone had carried out testing of the product in laboratory conditions using a normal, household toilet with an 8–10 litre cistern, which showed that the Forever Flush consistently released the formulation for 2,160 flushes over 24 weeks. However, we considered that the testing did not show whether the same results would be achieved under different circumstances, such as with other capacities of cistern, types of toilet, time the product was left in the cistern, usage patterns or water hardness, or other factors which may cause the product to dissolve at a different rate. We considered that testing the product under one set of variables only was not a sufficiently robust method of testing to ensure that the Forever Flush would achieve the same results in a significant number of different conditions.

We noted that Ecozone said that the results of the public survey reported that the product lasted 23–24 weeks in the majority of instances. Nevertheless, no data was provided to substantiate those results, with no recordings of the number of flushes the product lasted for, the type of toilet each participant had, the usage patterns or any of the other variables cited above. We therefore did not consider that the results of the public survey were adequate evidence to substantiate the claims made.

Because the laboratory testing method and the results of the public survey were not adequate to demonstrate that Forever Flush would work in a significant number of different toilets for a maximum of 2,000 flushes, or close to it, we concluded that the claim “will continue to work effectively for up to 2000 flushes”, had not been substantiated and was likely to mislead.

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) and  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)


The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told Ecozone Ltd not to claim that the product would "work effectively for up to 2000 flushes” unless they held sufficient evidence to demonstrate that.

CAP Code (Edition 12)

3.1     3.11     3.7    

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