NAD Recommends Euro Pro Modify, Discontinue Certain Claims for ‘Shark Navigator Freestyle Vacuum’ Following Dyson Challenge

Finds Advertiser can Support ‘Best in Class Runtime’ Claim

New York, NY – July 10,  2012 – The National Advertising Division has recommended that Euro-Pro Operating LLC discontinue certain advertising claims made for the company’s Shark Navigator Freestyle Vacuum, including claims that the product “never loses cleaning power.”
NAD is an investigative unit of the advertising industry’s system of self-regulation and is administered by the Council of Better Business Bureaus. NAD reviewed advertising for the product following a challenge by Dyson, Inc.
Claims at issue included:
•    “Never Loses Cleaning Power”
•    “True Upright Performance”
•    “Best in Class Runtime”
NAD first addressed the reasonable takeaway of the claim “never loses cleaning power.”
Because the product packaging makes it clear that the stick-style vacuum runs on batteries, NAD was satisfied consumers would appreciate that the product does eventually lose battery power. NAD noted that the product owner’s guide indicates a battery cycle of approximately 24 minutes.
Euro-Pro maintained that the claim “Never Loses Cleaning Power” indicates that the Navigator maintains its cleaning power over the life of its battery.
Following its review of the evidence in the record, however, NAD remained concerned that the “never loses cleaning power” claim communicated a bolder message than was intended by the advertiser.
NAD determined that reasonable consumers could take away the message that the Navigator will not lose its cleaning power for an unusually long time – rather than within 24 minutes. NAD recommended the advertiser discontinue the claim.
NAD determined that one reasonable interpretation of the claim “true upright performance” was that the Navigator was a full substitute for an upright vacuum cleaner.
The claim, on product packaging, was accompanied by the disclaimer: “On bare floors according to ASTM F2607 and on carpeted floors according to ASTM F2609” and by a photograph of the Navigator cleaning surfaces and debris typically cleaned by cordless vacuums.
NAD found that the disclaimer was not adequately clear or conspicuous. Further, NAD noted that the disclaimer referenced ASTM testing protocols that are not generally known to consumers.  NAD recommended the advertiser discontinue the claim.
In considering the “best in class runtime” claim, NAD determined that the advertiser’s testing of five competing models, as well as runtime information provided by the manufacturer of each of those models, provided a reasonable basis for the claim. NAD recommended that Euro Pro modify the claim to more clearly disclose the basis of comparison.
The company, in its advertiser’s statement, said while it disagreed with certain of NAD’s finding, it would take into account “NAD’s recommendations for future testing and … future labeling and advertising.