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Product: Household (Cleaning Products)
Advertiser: Alpha CC
Medium: Direct Marketing
ASAI Code 7th Edition: 2.4(c), 4.1, 4.4, 4.9, 4.10
An email featured the subject line:
“Covid-19 cleaning FYI”
The body of the email read:
“Alpha CC can provide you with a full IT Deep clean and sanitisation for your Office. We use our product that leaves a 72-hour barrier on all surfaces cleaned with it.
We can supply your cleaning team with the Crebisol product also!
Please contact [redacted] on [redacted] for more information”
The complainant considered that the body text together with the subject line implied that the cleaning product in question created a 72-hour barrier on surfaces that would protect against Covid-19(1). They believed this to be potentially misleading and queried the accuracy of this claim given the early nature and understanding of the virus.
(1)https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/technical-guidance/naming-the-coronavirus-disease-(covid-2019)-and-the-virus-that-causes-it (accessed December 2020)
The advertisers said that they believed the basis of the complaint to have been formed solely from the complainant’s personal opinion. They said that Covid-19 was a lesser virus strain then the Norovirus which was killed by the product in question, Crebisol, and the subsequent barrier it formed. They said that their company had been carrying out cleaning for businesses and supplying the product free of charge to frontline staff and services. They said that they had been using Crebisol for over 5 years and have always promoted the product in the same way.
Further Information: In response to a request from the ASAI Executive for substantiation that the product in question had the effect claimed, the advertisers provided a report for a test(2) that had been carried out by BluTest Laboratories Ltd to evaluate the efficacy of Crebisol against Murine coronavirus. The ASAI asked the advertisers to highlight the section which they felt supported the claim that the product created a 72-hour barrier against the virus. The advertisers did not respond to this request.
(2)Test Report: BS EN 14476:2013 + A2:2019, BluTest Laboratories Ltd, 9th June 2020
The Complaints Committee considered the detail of the complaint and the advertisers’ response.
The Committee noted the information provided in relation to the efficacy of the product against Murine corona virus. However, they noted that no substantiation had been provided to show that the product left “a 72-hour barrier on all surfaces cleaned with it” in general nor specifically against SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes Covid-19.
In the absence of such substantiation the Committee considered the advertisement was in breach of Code sections 4.1, 4.4, 4.9, and 4.10.
Action required: The advertisement must not reappear in its current form.