NAD Reviews Claims for Dyson ‘Hot+Cool Link,’ ‘Cool Link’ Air Purifiers Following Guardian Challenge; Dyson to Appeal

New York, NY – June 27, 2018 – The National Advertising Division has recommended that Dyson, Inc. modify or discontinue certain advertising claims for the company’s Pure Hot + Cool Link & Pure Cool Link Air Purifiers, following a challenge by Guardian Technologies, LLC, a manufacturer of competing air purifiers.  Dyson said it will appeal NAD’s adverse findings to the National Advertising Review Board.

NAD is an investigative unit of the advertising industry system of self-regulation. It is administered by the Council of Better Business Bureaus.

Challenged express claims included:

  • “HEPA Air Purifiers”
  • “The Multiplier projects purified air”
  • “Removes 99.97% of pollutants and allergens as small as .3 microns”
  • “The Dyson Pure Cool Link purifier automatically removes 99.97% of allergens and pollutants as small as .3 microns from your home – including pollen, bacteria and pet dander.”
  • “Intelligent purification – automatically monitors, reacts and purifies.”

Challenged implied claims included:

  • Dyson’s HEPA filter cleans all of the air in the home or the room at 99.97% efficiency for particles .3 microns in size.
  • All of the air projected from the Multiplier is purified or clean air.
  • Dyson air purifiers are more effective at cleaning the air than other air purifiers on the market.

Dyson’s Pure Hot + Cool Link & Pure Cool Link Air Purifiers feature a bladeless fan or “air multiplier” atop a cylindrical base that contains a High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter. To meet applicable industry standards, a HEPA filter must remove 99.97% of particles 0.3 microns in size.

Air enters the units through both the fan and the filter. Filtered air mixes with unfiltered air and is distributed by the fan. Dyson explained that it can take up to a few hours for the air in a room to be purified using this technology.

Guardian argued that the challenged purified air claims, together with illustrations of the units, reasonably conveyed the implied messages that the units clean all of the air in a home or room at 99.97% efficiency for particles .3 microns in size and that all of the air leaving the air multiplier is purified.  Guardian submitted a consumer perception survey in support of the challenged implied claims.

The key issue before for NAD was whether the challenged advertising could reasonably mislead consumers regarding the units’ air purification capabilities.

Following its review, NAD determined that Dyson’s HEPA filter claims were supported; the units do contain a HEPA filter which removes 99.97% of particles 0.3 microns in size, and air that moves through that filter will be cleaner than the surrounding air. NAD determined that the claim “purifying fan” was also supported.  However, NAD determined that the claim “HEPA Air Purifier” reasonably conveys that the entire unit provides HEPA-level filtration when, in fact, HEPA-level filtration is delivered only to the air that travels through the base of the product.

NAD recommended that the advertiser modify the claim “HEPA Air Purifier” to state that the units are air purifiers with a HEPA filter and modify surrounding advertising to avoid conveying the unsupported message all air circulated by the units is purified to the HEPA standard.

NAD determined that the “automatically purifies” claims – based on the built-in functionality to sense pollution and self-start – are literally true and substantiated. However, NAD recommended that the advertiser modify claims that promote the units’ ability to “automatically” purify to also incorporate, as part of the main claim, the information that “automatic” refers to the “auto mode” function of the products. NAD further recommended that the advertiser otherwise avoid conveying the message that purification is immediate.

As to the implied claims, NAD determined that the challenger’s consumer perception survey was not sufficiently reliable to demonstrate consumer confusion. NAD examined the advertising as a whole and determined that the images in the challenged advertising, along with the unqualified claims promising air purification, reasonably convey that all of the air emitted by the appliance has been purified, a message not supported by the evidence in the record.  NAD recommended that the advertiser modify the implied message that all of the air emitted by the appliance is purified.

NAD further recommended that the advertiser modify the claim “Other purifiers can struggle to trap pollutants, releasing them back into the room” to make clear the basis of comparison – Dyson’s units versus air purifiers that are not equipped with HEPA filters

NAD also considered whether Dyson’s omission of the Clear Air Delivery Rate (CADR) in advertising for its units was misleading, as Guardian asserted. An air purifier’s CADR rating tells consumers the volume of filtered air delivered by the unit. The Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) established a CADR test that the challenger claims is used throughout the industry.

NAD determined that it is not misleading for Dyson to omit the CADR rating for its units and the absence of a CADR rating, by itself, does not convey a misleading message about the efficacy of the Dyson product.

Dyson, in its advertiser’s statement, said that while it appreciated NAD’s non-adverse findings, the company” respectfully disagrees with NAD’s determinations regarding the claims’ takeaways and factual support.  Dyson will appeal the adverse findings in this case to the NARB for review.”

Note: A recommendation by NAD to modify or discontinue a claim is not a finding of wrongdoing and an advertiser’s voluntary discontinuance or modification of claims should not be construed as an admission of impropriety. It is the policy of NAD not to endorse any company, product, or service. Decisions finding that advertising claims have been substantiated should not be construed as endorsements.