New Decisions: Misleading Photos, Environmental Claims and More

The following decisions have been published

Image of diamond ring larger than actual product
The Michael Hill Jeweller television advertisement showed a woman with a diamond ring on her finger. Two further rings were displayed without models and the voiceover said “Sweep her off her feet forever with a breath taking 1 carat diamond solitaire and 14 carat yellow or white gold for only $4,999.”

The Complainant said the advertisement was misleading because it implied the ring worn by the model was the ring on offer, when that ring was clearly larger than a 1ct solitaire diamond.

The Advertiser agreed the advertisement could be considered misleading and said they had removed the ad and it will not be broadcast again in its current form.

Given the Advertiser’s co-operative engagement with the process and the self-regulatory action taken in removing the advertisement, the Chair said that it would serve no further purpose to place the matter before the Complaints Board. The Chair ruled that the complaint was settled.

Manufacturer’s Environmental Claims Supported
The Purex television advertisement showed different images at the Kawerau paper mill and a voiceover said “Ah Kawerau – it’s a toilet paper makers paradise. The ground here’s full of steam – so Purex use it to help power their factory. They use sustainable forests – just look at them grow. And the view from the tea room’s not bad either. Yep, if you want to make toilet paper that’s not only soft, but soft on the environment, Kawerau’s a pretty good place to do it. Purex – made here in New Zealand for more than sixty years.”

The Complainant said the water quality of Tarawera river is pristine before reaching the Kawerau mill, but is dirty and polluted when it leaves the mill. Therefore, they said the advertisement is misleading to claim its product to be “soft on the environment.”

The Advertiser said their Kawerau site is required to meet all Council consent requirements and it voluntarily seeks assessment against the Environmental Choice New Zealand’s (ECNZ) standard that applies to discharge of effluent from its facility. The Advertiser confirmed it had met all ECNZ requirements and maintained accreditation at Kawerau for more than 14 years.

The Complaints Board agreed the advertisement was making an environmental claim but said the Advertiser had provided sufficient substantiation for the claim by demonstrating it had met the Regional Council requirements together with the voluntary ECNZ manufacturing standards. The Board ruled the advertisement was not likely to deceive or mislead the consumer under the Code of Ethics and the Code for Environmental Claims. Accordingly, the Complaints Board ruled the complaint was Not Upheld.