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British Advertising Standards Authority rules on "ec-H2O" advertisement

Published 19th June, 2012 by Neil Nixon

British Advertising Standards Authority rules on "ec-H2O" advertisement

Tennant's advertising claim "misleading"

"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.

"We are happy with this ruling of the ASA," says Markus Asch, Deputy Chairman of the Board of Management of the Kärcher Group. "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. Kärcher 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," continues Markus Asch.

Those who wish to form their own opinion of the ASA reasoning can access the original comments on the organisation's website Tennant has been given until 14 June to submit a request for the review of the ASA recommendation.

In Germany, an initial court decision is due at the end of June, when the Regional Court of Stuttgart will announce its decision in the case Kärcher versus Tennant.