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British Advertising Standards Authority declares Tennant ec-H2O advertising13th of June 2012
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) in the UK has ruled that cleaning equipment manufacturer Tennant can no longer claim in its advertising that the ec-H2O water-based technology used in its scrubber dryers cleans better than traditional chemicals and methods.
"The ad must not appear again in its current form," said ASA. The ruling comes as a result of the complaint made by competitor Kärcher - it has also brought legal actions against Tennant in Germany and Belgium.
One of the reasons Tennant had given in support of the better cleaning result was that by using ec-H2O more bacteria had been proven to be removed than with detergents. As no robust evidence on the point was presented, this advertising message was deemed to be misleading. Therefore Tennant breaches several elements of the ASA Code of Practice.
However the ASA did consider that the evidence presented to it demonstrated ec-H2O saved money and reduced environmental damage in comparison to cleaning with detergents - as claimed by Tennant in its advertising. It concluded that the claim did not mislead or exaggerate the benefits of the product and therefore that aspect of Kärcher's complaint was not upheld.
"We are happy with this ruling by the ASA," commented Markus Asch, deputy chairman of the board of management of the Kärcher Group.
"Following the recommendation of the National Advertising Division (NAD) of the respected American Advertising Self-Regulatory Council, Tennant has now also been prohibited by the ASA from disseminating one of its advertising messages."
Chris Killingstad, president and ceo of Tennant Company, said he too was satisfied with the ruling. "Although competitors attempt to discredit our breakthrough technology through advertising challenges, the fact remains that ec-H2O cleans effectively, saves money, improves safety and reduces environmental impact. The ASA's decision is consistent with these claims and the organisation has affirmed the central benefits of ec-H2O."
Asch continued: "Kärcher is willing to accept in principle that a cleaning process free from chemicals has a lower environmental impact and saves costs, as all scrubber dryers are after all able to achieve satisfactory results even without detergents in the case of light soiling. Just like tap water, ec-H2O reaches its limits when tackling very stubborn dirt."
Tennant has been given until tomorrow (June 14) to request a review of the ASA's recommendation. In the meantime, an initial court decision on the German legal action taken by Kärcher is expected at the end of this month.
The ASA's comments about Tennant's advertising can be read on the organisation's website: