Ad description

A TV ad for JML DriBUDDi, a heated drying pod, seen in November 2023. The ad featured a testimonial from a customer who stated, “Because I live in a small flat, I used to hang my clothes on the radiator or clotheshorse. I used to find condensation and the smell of damp clothes all the time. Now I put things in the DriBUDDi, it’s just gone”. The ad showed various clothes and a towel sitting on a radiator with condensation appearing on the window above, followed by a close-up image of water droplets on a window.


The complainant challenged whether the testimonial misleadingly implied that using the product prevented condensation from forming.


John Mills Ltd t/a JML said that the relevant claim formed part of a testimonial and was therefore the personal opinion of the user. They believed viewers would interpret the claim within that context and understand that it was intended to compare the user experience of the DriBUDDi with that of drying clothes on a radiator inside.

JML provided results from two in-house tests. In the first test, they used the DriBUDDi to dry nine garments, weighing 1.74 kg dry and 2.66 kg after washing, over the space of two hours. The then followed up with a second test, which tested 18 garments weighing 3.82 kg dry and 5.42 kg after washing. They supplied videos of each test which demonstrated test conditions. They observed that throughout both tests, condensation had not formed on the window next to where the DriBUDDi stood. They said that proved the claim in the testimonial was accurate and not misleading. They explained that excess moisture in the air led to condensation which could form on walls, windows and other surfaces, but because the DriBUDDi was an enclosed space, moisture was kept inside the fabric cover.

Clearcast said that they had been clearing ads for the JML DriBUDDi for over 10 years and believed the way the product worked was widely understood by audiences. Hot air circulated within the ‘cocoon’ covering of the DriBUDDi to allow for a speedier drying time and to prevent moisture from escaping onto windows and walls. They referred to two articles which highlighted the benefits of using heated drying pods, and that research conducted by the University of Manchester found that drying clothes on radiators raised moisture levels in the home by up to 30%. They also said that, while the original data to support the claim was not easily accessible, the advertiser had provided results of two tests which substantiated the claim in question.

Clearcast also supplied forms that were signed by the individuals who they said had given testimonials in the ad, confirming that the views expressed were true and genuine. Clearcast acknowledged that testimonials alone were not adequate substantiation for an objective claim; however, they believed that the forms nonetheless supported that the claims were accurate to the users’ experience.



The ASA understood that the DriBUDDi was a drying pod used to dry laundry indoors. The fabric zip-on cover created an enclosed space in which heated air circulated and featured small holes at the top of the cover to allow air flow.

We noted that the testimonial was given by a man who compared his experience of drying clothes on the radiator in a small flat with using the DriBUDDi. When he used the DriBUDDi, he noted that the smell of damp and condensation was “just gone”. During his testimonial, the ad showed several items drying on a radiator with condensation on the window above, followed by a zoomed-in shot of condensation on a window. Whilst we acknowledged that the claim appeared clearly within a testimonial, we considered that viewers would interpret it as a claim about the product’s efficacy which was capable of objective substantiation, rather than a subjective claim based solely on personal experience. We therefore considered viewers would understand that the DriBUDDi, itself, was able to prevent the smell of damp and condensation produced by drying clothes inside, particularly in a small household space.

We firstly assessed the evidence provided by Clearcast. We examined the first article which they considered substantiated the claims in the ad. We noted that it originated from a science magazine; it outlined the physical process underpinning the drying of clothes and discussed the different methods of drying clothes indoors. The article commented only on the speed and running cost of drying pods in comparison to other heated airers. It did not examine the amount of condensation produced by drying pods, and consequently, we considered that the article was not relevant to the efficacy claim in the ad. The second article was a consumer magazine review of the best and cheapest methods of drying clothes indoors. It assessed the benefits and disadvantages of drying pods in terms of their capacity, price and speed. While the article identified that other drying methods either fought or brought risk of damp, the article was silent on how a drying pod affected dampness. However, because neither article evidenced that drying pods prevented condensation from forming, we considered that they were not relevant to the claims made in the ad and did not demonstrate the efficacy of the product.

We then assessed the testimonial documents supplied by Clearcast, which were signed by the speakers in the ad. We acknowledged that evidence showed the testimonials were genuine. However, we considered that personal or customer endorsement alone did not substantiate the efficacy claim as consumers would understand it. We therefore expected JML to hold objective substantiation that demonstrated the product prevented condensation from forming when used as advertised.

We next examined the in-house test reports. We noted that the first test used nine garments, with a dry weight of 1.74 kg and a washed weight of 2.66 kg. The garments were weighed again at the end of the test to verify that they had dried completely. In order to test the efficacy of the DriBUDDi’s ability to prevent condensation forming, the humidity of the room was measured before and after the garments had dried. We noted that before drying, the humidity of the room was 53%, and after, it had dropped to 50%. The test also relied on physical observation of the environment to monitor whether condensation formed on the window while the DriBUDDi was in use. From the video footage of the first test, we noted that condensation was not visible on the window or any of the surfaces in the room during or after the test.

While the test results suggested that humidity decreased during the test, we considered that did not necessarily indicate there was less moisture in the air. We understood the humidity measurement provided by JML was ‘relative humidity’, which measured, as a percentage, the amount of moisture present in the air relative to the amount that would be present if the air was saturated. We understood that warm air could hold more moisture than cold air, and therefore, increasing the temperature of the air while keeping the moisture level constant would decrease the relative humidity, as the air had greater capacity to hold moisture. With that in mind, we understood that as the DriBUDDi heated the room, the air temperature increased, causing the relative humidity of the room to decrease. However, we understood that did not mean the DriBUDDi reduced the level of moisture in the air, rather that the air was now warmer and able to hold more moisture before reaching saturation. For that reason, we did not consider the results sufficiently evidenced that the DriBUDDi prevented condensation.

Furthermore, we noted that this test was performed with considerably less laundry than the advertised capacity of the DriBUDDi. While the ad stated that the DriBUDDi could hold up to 18 garments or 10 kg of washing, the test was performed using only nine garments that weighed 2.66 kg. We understood that the volume of laundry would significantly affect the level of moisture present in the DriBUDDi and within the test environment. Because the test had not been conducted with 10 kg of laundry, and therefore did not demonstrate that the DriBUDDi could be used at its advertised capacity without the formation of condensation, we further considered the test was not sufficient to substantiate the claim.

In addition, we considered that the test conditions were not representative of the typical household room in which the DriBUDDi would be used. We noted that the videos of the first test, supplied by JML, showed the DriBUDDi operating in a large room with an internal window facing a warehouse floor. However, we considered that, because the internal window was sheltered from the outside air, it would have a higher surface temperature than if it was an external window, as typical in the average UK home. We understood that condensation formed when water vapour came into contact with cold surfaces, and therefore we considered that the temperature of the window was an important factor in whether condensation formed. We also considered that the size of the room was a significant variable in the test, which neither matched the description of the small flat in the testimonial nor the average household room in which the product would be used. We understood that a larger room afforded more space for the air to circulate, and it was less likely that the air would become saturated with water vapour, causing condensation. Therefore, we considered that, by conducting the test in an environment which did not represent the average UK home, and in conditions that would likely result in less condensation, the study was insufficient to substantiate the claim.

JML then repeated the test in a household room with a larger volume of washing. The test used 18 garments, with a dry weight of 3.82 kg and a washed weight of 5.42 kg. Similarly, the test relied on observation of the environment to detect the presence of condensation. We firstly noted that the size of the room was not given by JML, nor apparent from the video. We further noted that the quality of the video was low and as a result, the light coming through the window behind the DriBUDDi obscured the surface of the glass. It was therefore difficult to discern whether condensation had formed. Given that the test relied solely on observation, we concluded the test was not documentary evidence for the claim and was insufficient to prove the claim that the DriBUDDi prevented condensation.

We understood that the User Guide for the JML DriBUDDi stated that the product “should only be used in a well-ventilated area. If ventilation is lacking, it can also be used near an open window”. We accepted that ventilation was important to mitigate condensation formed by clothes drying indoors, as it allowed moisture to move from the room. We therefore considered that if the DriBUDDi was used according to the User Guide, in a room sufficiently well-ventilated, the formation of condensation may be prevented. However, we considered that the impression of the ad was that the DriBUDDi itself prevented condensation from forming, rather than environmental factors such as ventilation or presence of an open window. For that reason, we considered that the ad exaggerated the capabilities of the DriBUDDi.

Given that the studies provided were insufficient to prove the claim that the DriBUDDi prevented condensation, and the User Guide indicated that the prevention of condensation was due to external factors, we concluded that the claim exaggerated the capabilities of the DriBUDDi and had not been substantiated.

The ad breached BCAP Code rules 3.1 (Misleading Advertising), 3.9 (Substantiation), 3.12 (Exaggeration) and 3.45 (Endorsements and testimonials).


The ad must not be broadcast again in the form complained of. We told John Mills Ltd t/a JML to ensure that they did not misleadingly exaggerate the efficacy of the DriBUDDi in the absence of adequate substantiation.


3.1     3.12     3.45     3.9    

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