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B&Q complaint upheld after misleading advert

An advert from home & DIY retailer B&Q about a loft insulation offer must not appear again in its original form after the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) upheld a complaint against it.

Two sentences in the ad were judged to be misleading, firstly the headline “Insulate your loft for only £25” and also the claim that “A fully insulated loft could save you around £150 a year”.

The product on offer was a top-up of insulation measuring 170mm rather than enough to fill a whole loft to a government recommended level of 270mm, and so the ASA decided the headline was misleading.

Estimated savings quoted in the advert were based on findings from the Energy Savings Trust, which calculates that on average £145 could be saved using 270mm of insulation but says that the product advertised by B&Q would only lead to savings of around £40.

ASA’s statement read: “Notwithstanding that, because we also considered 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.”

B&Q responded to the complaint by saying that it did not intend the advert to be misleading, but had amended the headline to “Top up your insulation for £25” and that the savings claim had been removed.

Fellow UK retailer Asda had complaints upheld by the ASA earlier this month regarding its price guarantee marketing campaign, with the independent regulator ruling the supermarket had not made clear that its offer did not apply to all of its products.

Promotions have been key to B&Q’s strategy over the last few months, with the retailer starting its January sales on December 17th in order to improve falling sales.

The ASA concluded: “While we welcomed B&Q’s assurance that they had now amended the ad, because we understood that the stated saving was not achievable using the advertised product alone, we concluded that the claim was misleading.”

Source : Retail Gazette

16 February 2011
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