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Advertiser: Kearys BMW
Medium: Internet (Company Website)
ASAI Code 7th Edition: 2.4(c), 3.3, 3.24(a), 4.1, 4.4, 4.9, 4.10, 15.2, 15.3, 15.4, 15.5, 15.6
The advertisement was seen on the company website and advertised an ozone cleanse on car interiors with the claims that “NO chemical agents [were] used” and that the cleanse was “100% eco-friendly”.
The complainant objected to the claims in the advertisement and said that they were scientifically and environmentally inaccurate. He said that ozone was a chemical and that the process was not eco-friendly but in fact was potentially harmful. The complainant said that ozone reacted with the materials inside the car to create toxic airborne pollutants and that the process was unregulated.
In response to the complaint, the advertisers explained that the use of the term ‘ozone cleanse’ had become quite popular during Covid to explain the use of ozone gas to defumigate showrooms and cars. They provided three documents relating to the use of the ozone cleanse system.
The aim of the first report was to determine what concentrations the operator of the system was exposed to when they were positioned immediately outside of various treatment areas using different systems and different programs. The report ultimately concluded that there was no leakage from the treatment areas to the immediate exterior and that therefore sanitation personnel and workers in the immediate vicinity would be protected from high ozone levels.
As required by Regulations 9 and 10 of the European Union (Biocidal Products) Regulations 2013, the second document was proof of notification to the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine in its position as the Competent Authority for Biocides in Ireland of the intention to use the ozone cleanse service.
The third document supplied by the advertisers was a Virucidal Efficacy Report conducted by the Molecular Medicine Department of the University of Padua which concluded that the specific ozone cleanse system used by the advertisers offered an effective virucide against SARS-CoV2 (Coronavirus).
As the above documentation did not address the issue raised by the complainant, the advertisers were reminded that there was an onus on them to address the specific issue raised and they were therefore asked to provide their comments on this. The advertisers said that they were in contact with the supplier of the ozone cleanse system and that they would provide further clarification in this regard, however they did not revert to the ASAI Executive.
The Complaints Committee considered the detail of the complaint and the advertisers’ response.
The Committee noted that evidence to support the claims in the advertising that the ozone cleanse service did not use any chemical agents and that it was 100% eco-friendly had not been submitted to the ASAI and in light of this, the Committee concluded that the advertisement was in breach of Code sections 4.1, 4.9, 4.10, 15.2, 15.4 and 15.5.
The advertisement must not reappear in its current form.