Manufacturer did not mislead customers with website claims – watchdog
PUBLISHED: 05:00 18 August 2018 | UPDATED: 08:45 19 August 2018
A Norfolk manufacturer has welcomed a judgement from the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) that it did not make misleading claims on its website over its signature invention.
Britannia Fire had faced a nine-month investigation after a single complaint was received over the P50 composite extinguisher developed by the Ashwellthorpe company.
The ASA ruled that the claim that the “P50 range requires only simple annual maintenance by your staff members” was not misleading and could be substantiated after a complaint from Leeds-based fire services company Anderstore.
Britannia has been promoting its P50 for years on the basis that it does not need the external servicing that competing products do.
Britannia Fire sales director Andy Spence said the company would now return to concentrating on growth, with sales of the P50 up 40% on last year and exports heading to 12 countries from the factory where it employs 36 people.
“The investigation has been a distraction but we have maintained focus throughout, consistently exceeding sales targets.
“It was a single complaint in eight years of marketing the P50 on our websites, advertising and the tens of thousands of brochures we have circulated, and exhibitions all over the world.”
He added: “Throughout this period, our customers have shown unwavering sympathy to our situation and we are very grateful.”
The ASA ruled consumers would understand the claim meant “special expertise or advanced training” were not required for the annual service, and said the company made clear that a 10-year service would be required to extend the life of the extinguisher.
“We also considered that the majority of the procedures outlined in the six-step maintenance check, such as visually inspecting the extinguisher for damage and checking the tamper seal was in place, were simple and that most people would be capable of carrying out such inspections,” it added.
It concluded: “Because the P50 did not require maintenance that was beyond the expertise or skill of in-house staff members we concluded the claim that ‘the P50 range requires only simple annual maintenance by your staff members’ had been substantiated and was therefore not misleading.”