March 28, 2023

Volume XIII, Number 87


March 27, 2023

Subscribe to Latest Legal News and Analysis

UK Regulator Bans Misleading “Hot Air” Ads

The cost-of-living crisis is a concern for all consumers, with many carrying out research to understand ways that spending can be reduced. One major issue during the cold winter days is the cost of heating bills.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has banned four separate adverts which relate to electric plug-in mini heaters. All the ads suggested that mini heaters are a viable replacement to conventional heating via gas. The ads implied that the products would save consumers money while quickly and efficiently heating a room.

The Energy Saving Trust advised the ASA that a single small electric fan heater would be unlikely to be able to supply the amount of heat needed for a typical sized room. Multiple electric heaters would be required to provide comfort levels equivalent to a central heating system.

Although the ads which were investigated were placed by different advertisers, the ads were representing the same mini-heater product. None of the advertisers responded to the ASA. 

Under the CAP Code, brands should take care to ensure they do not exaggerate the capability or performance of a product. Marketers must hold documentary evidence to prove claims that consumers are likely to regard as objective and that are capable of objective substantiation.

It is clear that the ASA will not tolerate failure to comply with the CAP Code and will take steps to ban any adverts that are misleading to consumers.

The influx of recent rulings show that the ASA are on the look out to protect vulnerable consumers that are looking to save money and cut back, given the current economy.

Publishing unsubstantiated claims will also land advertisers in trouble with respect to the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008, which are enforced by the Competition and Markets Authority and local trading standards. Penalties for breach ultimately include fines and imprisonment. Claims made about a product may also form a term of the consumer contract under the Consumer Rights Act 2015, which has implications in terms of a consumer’s rights to damages, for example.

© Copyright 2023 Squire Patton Boggs (US) LLPNational Law Review, Volume XIII, Number 33

About this Author

Carlton Daniel Intellectual Property Attorney Squire Patton Boggs London, UK

Carlton Daniel advises on intellectual property rights, commercial contracts and consumer regulatory law. He handles both contentious and non-contentious matters.

Carlton has a particular focus on providing advice to clients in the advertising, marketing and media sectors, and also to businesses operating in the food and drink, retail, automotive and tech sectors.

Intellectual property rights: Carlton has significant experience advising on the exploitation and protection of trade marks, designs, copyright, databases, confidential information and patents. As...

44 20-7655-1026
Sera Kaplan Intellectual Property and Technology Attorney Squire Patton Boggs Law Firm Leeds

Sera Kaplan is an associate in the Intellectual Property and Technology Practice Group based in the Leeds office.

Sera completed her training with the firm and has experience in general commercial, data protection, and intellectual property matters. Sera also has experience with supporting large value M&A corporate transactions.

Sera previously worked in the in-house legal team of a publicly listed global out-of-home advertising company and has undertaken several client secondments during her time with the firm,...