ASA upholds “misleading” merc parts ad complaint

Kevin Shipton, founder of the APA
Kevin Shipton, founder of the APA

The Advertising Standards Authority has upheld a complaint by a member of the newly formed Aftermarket Parts Association about an advert produced by Mercedes-Benz promoting OE replacement parts.

Adjudication by the ASA found the Mercedes-Benz ad was misleading‚ on two counts and must not appear in its current form again.

APA founding member Imperial Automotive Ltd objected to the implicit suggestion in the ad that body panels – for example, a vehicle’s front wings – fulfill a safety function in the event of an accident.

Imperial argued that research refutes this, including the Autopolis Report, which judged many vehicle panels to be purely cosmetic.

Imperial also complained that the ad’s assertion that fitting any part other than a genuine‚ Mercedes-Benz part could be a specific breach of legislation.

The APA was formed by Imperial (former name SEL-Imperial) in February.

APA chairman and Imperial boss Kevin Shipton, said: “The advert by Mercedes-Benz epitomizes how vehicle manufacturers have been trying to persuade repairers not to buy non-safety critical replica crash repair panels.

“As far as we are aware, there is no independent evidence to even suggest aftermarket replica parts such as front wings are different in quality to genuine‚ equivalents.

“Aftermarket crash repair panels represent good value for repairers and consumers, and we stand by the claim made by our members‚ suppliers‚ that they match those supplied by OE manufacturers.”

Published by emmabutcher

Emma has been CAT's editor since January 2008. There isn't much she doesn't know about the aftermarket - and her favourite topic is definitely BER!

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