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Reference: 26495 / 26496
Advertiser: Steorn Limited
Medium: Internet (Company Website), Social Media (Facebook)
ASAI Code 7th Edition: 2.4(c), 4.1, 4.4, 4.9
The advertising on the advertisers’ website and Facebook referred to the following:
“OPHONE - PRE-ORDER. SHIPPING IS 12 WEEKS FROM PAYMENT
“The Ophone is a feature phone that never needs to be recharged. Based on our Orbo 'never die' battery technology the Ophone provides the user with the convenience of never having to recharge their mobile phone again.
The Ophone is supplied SIM-free and unlocked. It operates on GSM Dual Band 900/1800MHz. Please check with your intended carrier for compatibility.
It offers an attractive, simple interface for straightforward communication in a unique design keeping you in contact for longer when on the move thanks to the power of Orbo technology…”
A further advertisement referred to the following:
“Orbo Technology - The Battery is Dead
OCUBE - PRE-ORDER. SHIPPING IS 6 WEEKS FROM PAYMENT
The Ocube is a USB charger for phones and tablets. Based on our Orbo 'never die' battery technology the Ocube provides the user with the convenience of easily charging their devices anywhere.
Suitable for use with smartphones, tablets and similar devices with USB charging connectivity.”
“Orbo Hi … the phone contains a capacitor that directly powers our phone. During extensive use this capacitor may become discharged. However, this capacitor is being constantly trickle charged by Orbo, so after a period of time the capacitor will be recharged and the phone will be functional again. In essence the phone is charging itself.”
The complainant considered the advertising to be misleading. He queried how it was possible to have a battery that never needed to be recharged. He considered if the
Ophone drew energy from the battery to enable it to function then it was inevitable that the battery would eventually require recharging or replacement.
He said while there may be a transfer of energy from one part of the phone to another that any phone which incurred normal usage would eventually require recharging or replacement.
The complainant also queried the information provided by the advertisers in their Facebook post and queried how it could be possible for any phone to recharge itself. He considered it to be contrary to the laws of physics.
The advertisers said they would respond to the complaint but to date no response has been received.
The Complaints Committee considered the details of the complaint and expressed their concern at the advertisers’ failure to respond to the complaint. They reminded them that there is an onus on advertisers to ensure that their advertising is in conformity with the Code.
In the absence of a response from the advertisers the Committee considered that the claims made in their advertising had not been substantiated and in the circumstances upheld the complaint under Sections 4.1, 4.4 and 4.9 of the Code.
The advertisement should not be used in the same format again.