The U.K. Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has made public its decision (13 June 2012) regarding challenges made against Tennant advertising by Karcher UK Ltd. Both manufacturer marketers have claimed ‘victories’ with the decision.
‘The ASA rejected one advertising challenge and upheld another. In the end, the ASA determined that Tennant’s ec-H2O is an effective cleaning technology and a potential replacement to conventional cleaning chemicals for use in scrubber-dryers,’ stated a Tennant press release.
However, Karcher noted in its dedicated blog that, ‘The ad must not appear again in its current form is the ruling of the British Advertising Standards Authority on an advertising claim regarding the “ec-H2O” technology used in scrubber dryers of the cleaning equipment manufacturer Tennant in the United Kingdom. According to the ASA decision, the company must no longer claim that this technology cleans better compared to traditional cleaning chemicals and methods.
‘One of the reasons that Tennant had given in support of the better cleaning result was that using ec-H2O more bacteria had been proven to be removed than with detergents. As no robust evidence on the point was presented, this advertising message was misleading. Therefore Tennant breaches several elements of the ASA Code of Practice,’ added Karcher.
Tennant Company CEO Chris Killingstad, said, “Although competitors attempt to discredit our breakthrough technology through advertising challenges, the fact remains that ec-H2O cleans effectively, saves money, improves safety and reduces environmental impact. The ASA’s decision is consistent with these claims and the organisation has affirmed the central benefits of ec-H2O.”
According to Tennant, ‘In its decision, the ASA determined, based on the evidence supplied by Tennant, that consumers would be able to use ec-H2O in place of their chemical scrubber-dryers and that ec-H2O saved money and created only a fraction of the environmental impact associated with chemical-based floor cleaning. The ASA, therefore, determined that Tennant advertising did not exaggerate these key benefits of ec-H2O.’
Karcher Group board of management deputy chairman Markus Asch commented, “We are happy with this ruling of the ASA. Following the recommendation of the National Advertising Division (NAD) of the respected American Advertising Self-Regulatory Council, Tennant has now also been prohibited by the ASA from disseminating one of its advertising messages.
“Karcher is willing to accept in principle that a cleaning process free from chemicals has a lower environmental impact and saves costs, as all scrubber dryers are after all able to achieve satisfactory results even without detergents in the case of light soiling. Just like tap water, ‘ec-H2O’ reaches its limits when tackling very stubborn dirt,” Asch noted.