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Product: Household - Garden Equipment
Advertiser: MicroMantis Ltd - Timberpro
Medium: Social Media
ASAI Code 7th Edition: 2.4c, 3.3, 3.24
Promoted tweets for Timberpro UK stated:
“Here is a video made by one of our customers showing what the Timberpro 62cc Chainsaw can do, all at a great price.”
A video was embedded into the tweet with the following text underneath:
“Customer demo of the Timberpro 62cc 20” Petrol Chainsaw
The Timberpro 62cc 20” Chainsaw kit is amazing value, with a fantastic after sales and backup service. Available now in 16”, 20” and 24” package. Check it out now to see why Timberpro is so popular.”
“This happy customer decided to make a video, showing what the Timberpro 62cc Chainsaw could do.”
A video was embedded into the tweet together with the following text:
“Demo of the Timberpro 62cc Chainsaw from one of our happy customers.
Find out why our customer from the USA decided to upload a video of his new favourite chainsaw – visit us today and see what everyone is talking about with the super packages available at great prices.”
The complainant viewed the videos after they appeared on his Twitter timeline and he considered that they were irresponsible as the videos showed users of the chainsaws not wearing any safety clothing or equipment. The complainant referred to safety guidelines issued by the Health and Safety Authority and said that as the advertiser had used two separate videos of users without safety equipment then they were encouraging users to use chainsaws without taking the appropriate precautions.
The advertiser stated that the videos were user generated content that were neither solicited from individuals nor were they provided to them on an unsolicited basis. In the circumstances they did not consider that they were in remit of the ASAI Code.
They said that as most people were aware, chainsaws could be dangerous if used incorrectly. They said that there was no requirement to use safety equipment when using a chainsaw, similar to their being no requirement to wear gloves and eye protection when using bleach, however, this was advised on the bottle.
They noted the Health & Safety guidelines, however, they said that their understanding of a guideline was that it was not a requirement and was simply an advisory notice that should be taken account of. They said that they believed that the advertisement conformed to all rules as it was not a requirement to wear safety equipment. They said that they always advise users to wear safety gear when using their products. They said that the videos were unsolicited both at the time of creation and the time of usage, and the videos had been created by users who were free to use their products as they saw fit.
The Executive advised the advertiser that user generated content that was incorporated into a company’s marketing communications or was endorsed by the advertiser, was considered marketing communications under the Code. As the advertiser had endorsed the videos the advertiser was advised that they would be considered against the provisions of the Code and were invited to make further comment.
The advertisers reiterated that there was no requirement set out in law to wear safety equipment and as such the wearing of such equipment was at the user’s discretion. They said the literature provided with the item indicated that it was advisable to wear safety equipment when using it.
The Complaints Committee considered the detail of the complaint and the advertisers’ response. The Committee noted that the two videos had been incorporated into promoted tweets by the advertiser and were therefore marketing communications under the Code. The Committee noted the guidance from the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) on using chainsaws and that it recommended that users wear personal protective equipment. They also reviewed the videos in the promoted tweets and noted that one of the users of the product was not wearing any gloves, eye protection or protective footwear, while the other user was wearing eye protection, he was not wearing any gloves or protective footwear. In the circumstances the Committee considered that the videos demonstrated practices contrary to HSA guidelines, which is considered would be reflective of best practice. The Committee considered that the advertising was in breach of Sections 3.3 and 3.24 of the Code.
The advertising should not appear in its current form.