ASA declares test claims misleading

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As part of a recent advertising campaign, aftermarket supplier Unipart recently published claims about the performance of its brake pads when tested against other market-leading brands.

The Unipart claims formed part of its wider “Stop Secret – Friction. Not Fiction” advertising campaign. The claims have now been ruled as being misleading by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). The ASA stipulated that the ads must not appear again in their current form and instructed Unipart Automotive to ensure comparisons were not likely to mislead in the future.

TMD Friction, the world’s largest manufacturer of original equipment brake friction material for passenger cars and commercial vehicles, remained confident that its brake pads were not out-performed in the tests but chose not to conduct a counter-claim campaign. Instead it consulted with the ASA stating that the tests were not industry standard, had unrealistic methodology, and presented misleading data in the results. The ASA agreed with TMD Friction and upheld the complaints last month.

“As TMD Friction is the market leader in manufacturing brake friction, we realized that the test result claims could not have been correct and we challenged Unipart’s validity on many fronts,” explained David Baines, head of global aftermarket at TMD Friction. “We are pleased that the ASA has now ruled that Unipart’s claims are misleading, ordered it to cease its ‘Stop Secret’ campaign, and requested that it doesn’t repeat such misleading campaigns in the future”.

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About Author

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Graham Heeps is a regular contributor, and knows the dynamics industry well, having previously edited the title. Graham also writes regularly on automotive and motorsport subjects for other magazines from Vehicle Dynamics International’s publisher, UKi Media & Events (as well as editing Tire Technology International), and contributes to a range of online and print publications in the UK, USA and Canada.

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