Fonterra, dog kennel ad complaints upheld
A complaint about a dog-minding service's website ad has been upheld for making misleading statements about boarding kennels.
Advertising Standards Authority complainants K Fry and "and others" were unhappy with a list of eight reasons on the website of in-house dog-minding service Guardians about why dog kennels are inferior to its own service.
The company's claims include:
#Kennels lack the one-to-one contact most dogs crave.
#Kennels can change your dog's mental state forever.
#Kennels are often very noisy and can drive a dog mad – they can cause a lot of stress to your dog, which in some cases can be fatal.
It concludes by asking: Kennels do not suit all dogs – is it really worth taking the risk?
K Fry found the whole advertisement and site "an affront and insult to the boarding kennel community", saying the statements are not facts but are presented as such.
Guardians responded by changing some of the wording to make the statements less absolute by using can, sometimes, often, etc.
The ASA complaints board, chaired by Jenny Robson, found the statements denigrated the service offered by boarding kennels, rather than promoting its own service.
It was particularly concerned with statements claiming kennels "can change your dog's mental state", and kennels are noisy and can "drive a dog mad".
The board said these statements "were strong and alarmist and discredited the service offered by boarding kennels" without backing up the claims.
"These two statements clearly played on the fear of pet owners as to the wellbeing of their pets should they be placed in any boarding kennels throughout the country."
The board ruled the claims were misleading, and upheld the complaint.
Fonterra makes misleading claims about dairy
The complaints board also upheld an advertisement on dairy giant Fonterra's website, saying claims it made about the benefits of dairy could be misleading.
Fonterra said on its website dairy has the "building blocks of life", is an essential food group, contains a balance of nutrients and is the best source of calcium.
G Reynolds complained, saying the use of the terms "essential" and "vital" to life is misleading and not factual.
Issue was also taken with the statement claiming calcium from dairy is absorbed more quickly than other sources.
Fonterra said it had changed the wording on some of the statements.
For example, it now says "dairy is an important food group" rather than an "essential" one, but kept the word "vital" in the sentence.
The company stood by its claim that calcium from dairy is absorbed faster than any other source.
The complaints board upheld the "important food group" statement, saying that retaining the word "vital" was not substantiated and could mislead consumers.
It also found upheld the statement claiming calcium from dairy is absorbed most quickly, as the claim had also not been fully substantiated by Fonterra.