Claims on http://esrenterprise.com, seen on 28 October 2015, promoted an electrical junction box. Text stated, "IP66 Rated Junction Boxes". A table underneath listed various products, including the E90 model.
Wiska Hoppmann & Muslow GmbH, who had sought independent test reports on the product, the results of which indicated that it did not comply with the IP66 rating, challenged whether the claim that the E90 model was IP66 rated was misleading and could be substantiated.
ESR Enterprise Ltd provided a certificate of compliance from their supplier, which stated that the supplier had had the product tested and that it complied with the IP66 standard. ESR said they were also in discussions about obtaining third-party certification. They did not comment on the evidence provided by the complainant.
The ASA understood that the IP rating was an international standard which related to the degrees of protection offered against dust and water. We understood that a product rated IP66 would be dust tight and would offer protection against powerful water jets.
The test reports provided by the complainant showed evidence of both water and dust ingress, and concluded that the product did not comply with the test specification. We noted that the tests had been carried out by a testing company that was accredited by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS). Included with the details of the tests were photographs showing evidence of water and dust ingress.
The certificate provided by ESR stated that the product complied with the rating, but no details were provided on any tests that had been carried out, which we considered meant it was less robust than the testing supplied by the complainant. ESR had also supplied no comment on the complainant’s testing, for example to explain why it appeared to contradict the certificate they had provided.
Given that we had seen evidence from the complainant of UKAS-accredited third-party testing that indicated the product did not comply with the test specification for an IP66 rating, and that the only evidence provided by the advertiser was a certificate, we concluded that the claim that the product was IP66 rated had not been substantiated and 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).
We told ESR Enterprise Ltd not to claim that their products met international standard ratings unless they held adequate evidence to substantiate those claims.