A national press ad, for a furniture retailer, stated "Over 50 years' experience".
The complainant challenged whether the claim "Over 50 years' experience" was misleading and could be substantiated because she believed they had only been in business since 2011.
Westminster Recliners (WR) said their Management Team's individual experiences in "Rise and Recline" chairs totalled over 50 years. They therefore believed they were entitled to make the claim "Over 50 years' experience" for the business.
The ASA considered that most consumers would interpret the claim "Over 50 years' experience" to mean that WR had been established over 50 years ago. Because that was not the case, we concluded that the claim was misleading.
The claim 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 claim must not appear again in its current form. We told Westminster Recliners not to imply that their business had been established for a specific number of years unless they held evidence to substantiate the claim.