ASA rules on context in which Geartronics claims to be the “best”

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has ruled that Geartronics’ multiple advertising claims about being the “best” are misleading and breach the UK Code of Non-broadcast Advertising, Sales Promotion and Direct Marketing (CAP Code).

Geartronics claimed on their website that their company was the “Home of the world’s best (product)”, had an “enviable reputation”, and had “come to be regarded as one of the very best”.  Geartronics further claimed that “with Geartronics you get the best quality, functionality, reliability and service”, as an answer to the question “why should I choose a Geartronics (product) over other (products) in the market?”

ASA found that the advert gave consumers the impression that the statements were based on market research and comparative evidence between other leaders in operating in a similar field to Geartronics. Geartronics, however, failed to provide any such evidence and as such ASA found Geartronics in breach of the following CAP Code rules:

3.1 “Marketing communications must not materially mislead or be likely to do so”;

3.7 “Before distributing or submitting a marketing communication for publication, marketers must hold documentary evidence to prove claims that consumers are likely to regard as objective and that are capable of objective substantiation”;

3.33 “Marketing communications that include a comparison with an identifiable competitor must not mislead, or be likely to mislead, the consumer about either the advertised product or the competing product”; and

3.35 “They must objectively compare one or more material, relevant, verifiable and representative feature of those products”.

ASA’s duty is to ensure that advertisers provide decent, truthful advertisements that are legal and apply with the CAP Code.

This decision therefore acts as a reminder to advertisers of the importance of ensuring that the context of any advertising claims can be justified.