The Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) has found against Unipart Automotive’s ‘Stop Secret’ braking products online adverting campaign.
The campaign compared the stopping performance of half a dozen brands of brake pad through tests including high-speed braking, fade and hot-stop tests.
However, TMD Friction, the maker of the Pagid brand included in the test complained to the ASA that the tests were misleading because it believed the test that underpinned the comparison was unreliable due to a human driver being used, who may have hit the brake pedal with different amounts of force between one brake pad and another.
Unipart challenged this, saying that the variation in the tests would only be slight and it should be fine for the purposes of comparison. However the ASA disagreed and also noted that figures relating to the overall stopping distance could be construed as misleading.
The Authority ruled that the website breached rules relating to misleading advertising, substantiation and comparisons. It told Unipart that the advert must not appear again in current form and that the aftermarket firm should ‘ensure that comparisons were not likely to mislead in future’.