An ad for a Dyson vacuum cleaner has been banned after the company misleadingly claimed it created 10 times more suction than a rival product from fellow British manufacturer Gtech. Ironically the ban follows accusations from Dyson last month that rival Bosch was ‘the VW of the vacuum cleaner business’ for making misleading claims
The national press ad and a video on Dyson’s YouTube channel, both seen in December 2013, claimed tests had proven that the DC59 Animal cordless vacuum cleaner had ten times more suction than the Gtech AirRam.
Both ads showed a wooden floor sprinkled with baking powder, with the section cleaned by the AirRam showing a residual coating while the area behind the DC59 appeared clean.
Text stated: “Dyson has over 10x the suction of Gtech.” In a complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), Gtech said the ads misled consumers because the test did not reflect normal household cleaning conditions, was unsuited to the design of the AirRam, and exaggerated the capability of the DC59 to deal with fine dirt.
Gtech also complained that the ads misleadingly implied that suction power was equivalent to pick-up performance, but the differing systems meant that the AirRam required less suction power to collect dirt than the DC59.
It added that testing to International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) standards found that the AirRam outperformed the DC59 on carpets, hard flat floors and hard floors with shallow crevices.
Dyson provided test data from an independent party and from its own facilities that it said was in accordance with IEC standards and showed that the DC59 was superior to the AirRam in terms of dust removal from hard floors with crevices, hard flat floors and carpets.
The company argued that the ads were not misleading because all the data showed that the DC59 picked up more dust. The ASA said it took expert advice before upholding all of Gtech’s complaints.
It found that Dyson had not provided adequate test data to confirm that the DC59 was superior to the AirRam, and the ad therefore misled consumers.
It also found that the ads misled by conflating suction power and pick-up performance and by suggesting that the DC59’s pick-up performance was ten times better than the AirRam.
It ruled that the ads must not appear again in their current form, adding: “We told Dyson to make clear the basis of their comparisons in future and to ensure they held adequate comparative test data to substantiate any implied or stated comparative pick-up performance claims.”
Dyson said: “This dispute is over a two year old YouTube video which we have happily removed.”