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Product: Domestic Appliances
Advertiser: BSH Home Appliances Limited
Medium: Internet (Company Website), Online - Company Website
ASAI Code 7th Edition: 4.1, 4.4, 4.9, 4.10
The iQ500 Oven Range webpage included the following:
“Explore the Siemens iQ500 oven range with coolStart and fast preheat.
Siemens iQ500 built-in ovens combine contemporary design with cutting-edge technology that saves time and effort without compromising cooking. The fast preheat function allows you to start cooking without waiting and thanks to activeClean technology you’ll never have to clean your oven again. Spending less time cooking and cleaning gives you more time to expand your culinary horizons and spend with family and friends.”
The webpage included details of various features of the range and an embedded YouTube video on the activeClean feature. Text beside the video stated:
With Siemens activeClean technology you’ll never have to clean your oven again. Just wipe-up any spills and let the iQ500 do the rest. Set the oven to activeClean and it superheats, turning cooking debris into ash which can be easily wiped away.”
The webpage also included a section titled “+IQ500 Features” with a drop down listing the following features:
“lightControl: Stylish and Simple
Siemens lightControl makes cooking intuitive and easy to check at a glance.
roastingSensor: perfectly reliable roasts
Siemens roastingSensor is an integrated thermometer that accurately measures internal temperatures to guarantee delicious dishes.
cookControl: effortless and intuitive
Siemens cookContol makes your oven smarter and is redefining the way we cook. Choose a pre-set program, or enter the weight and type of food, and let Siemens do the rest.
3D hotAir plus: even temperature inside
Siemens 3D hotAir plus ensures an even temperature throughout your oven which means you can cook on multiple levels with flawless results.
varioClip: flexible and accessible
Siemens varioClip system makes reconfiguring your oven easy with adjustable shelves and telescopic rails.”
At the end of the webpage, a section titled “Siemens Ovens” featured and it included a link titled “Explore the Oven range” which linked to a webpage that featured the 7 models in the iQ500 range and included the price and features of each of the 7 models.
The complainant viewed the website while researching ovens and noted the activeClean feature. The complainant said that they had made the decision to purchase an oven in the iQ500 range as the advertising had led them to believe that all iQ500 ovens came with the feature. After purchasing an oven, the complainant was unable to locate the feature on their oven, and after making enquiries with the advertiser, was advised that the model they purchased did not come with the activeClean feature. The complainant considered that the advertising was misleading as it had not stated that the activeClean feature was not included in all models in the iQ500 range.
The advertisers said that the webpage referred to by the complainant could only be reached by one customer journey which they considered was quite specific. The journey was made from their home page where a user would select ‘Be Inspired’ from the menu bar and from there select ‘Innovation’, and on this page was a link to “discover the iQ500 range” which brought a user to the page in question. They said that the main heading on the iQ500 range page was “Explore the Siemens iQ500 oven range..” which they considered was clear that it was a range overview page. They said that a range overview allowed for main features to appear for different models within a range which they considered was no different for other retailer sites. They said that further down the page was an invitation to explore the range further which brought a user to a list of all ovens in the range (seven) which each model’s features highlighted.
They said that each of the seven ovens were outlined with specific details and that it was clear that activeClean was not included in the model purchased by the complainant.
The advertisers also stated that they do not sell directly to consumers and for a consumer to purchase one of their ovens, they would be advised, and the sale ticket would show what features/USP’s relate to the exact model being purchased, if purchased on a retailer’s website. They did not consider that there was any misleading information on their website.
The Complaints Committee considered the detail of the complaint and the advertisers’ response. The Committee noted that while it was not possible for consumers to purchase a product from their website, it was not unreasonable for a consumer to refer to a manufacturer’s website while researching a potential product purchase.
The Committee noted that the webpage had referred generally to various features of the oven range, including the activeClean feature. While the Committee noted that the webpage had included a link to the list of ovens included in the range, they considered that it was possible for the initial webpage to be viewed without following the link to the list of ovens in the range. While the list of ovens had listed the features for each of the models in the range, the Committee considered that the impression created by the overview webpage was that the feature was standard. In the absence of a notification, statement or qualification that the activeClean feature was not a standard feature with all models in the range, the Committee considered that the webpage was in breach of Sections 4.1 and 4.4 of the Code.
The advertising should not reappear in its current form again.