B&Q insulation ad pulled by ASA

DIY chain B&Q was told that an advert for insulation breached Advertising Standards Authority Code on misleading advertising.

The advert, which has now been amended, was headlined “Insulate your loft for only £25” and featured a picture of a roll of loft insulation. Text printed on the side of the roll stated “A fully insulated loft could save you around £150 a year”.

One person complained on the grounds that the claim “Insulate your loft for only £25” misleadingly implied that consumers could insulate their loft from scratch for £25. In fact, the advertised price could only be achieved when the product was used to top up existing insulation.

Although there was additional text which stated that the claim was based on topping up existing insulation by 170mm in a typical 44sq m 3 bedroomed semi-detached home, the ASA considered that readers would interpret the headline as meaning that they could fully insulate their loft with the advertised product for £25.

A second complaint referred to the claim “A fully insulated loft could save you around £150 a year”. This was felt to be misleading since that saving would only be experienced by consumers insulating an uninsulated loft to the government recommended standard of 270 mm and not by those using the top-up insulation featured in the ad.

The ASA upheld this second complaint as well, considering that the ad did not make clear that the headline claim related to top-up insulation only, we were concerned that, in that context, the savings claim was ambiguous and could lead readers to assume that a one-off investment of £25 could result in a saving of £150 a year.

About Fiona Russell-Horne

Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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