NARB Recommends Dyson Modify or Discontinue Certain Claims, Approves Others, For Dyson Purifier Fans, Following Guardian Technologies Challenge

New York, NY – April 08, 2019 – A panel of the National Advertising Review Board (“NARB”) has found that Dyson, Inc. did not provide a reasonable basis for two advertising claims for Dyson’s purifier fans Pure Hot & Cool Link and Pure Cool Link (the “Dyson Fans”), and recommended that they be modified or discontinued.  In the same proceeding, NARB found in favor of Dyson on three other issues.

The advertising at issue had been challenged by Guardian Technologies, LLC (“Guardian”) before the National Advertising Division (“NAD”), an investigative unit of the advertising industry’s system of self-regulation.  In its decision, NAD recommended changes to five advertising claims for the Dyson Fans, and Dyson sought review by an NARB panel on each of those issues.

Unlike other air purifier devices available for home and office use, the Dyson Fans have two components.  At the base of the unit, air from the room is pulled into the unit and passed through an air filter.  The filtered air then flows into the upper portion of the unit which principally consists of a loop (referred to as the “Air Multiplier”). Based on patent-protected technology, the Air Multiplier performs as a fan without blades – it pulls in air (either unfiltered or, in time, filtered) from the room on one side and expels it on the other, thus causing air to circulate in the room.  The air expelled by the Air Multiplier also contains the air filtered through the base of the unit.

The first issue for the NARB panel was whether the challenged Dyson advertising communicated (implied) that all of the air being circulated by the Dyson Fans had been immediately purified.  The NARB panel agreed with NAD’s conclusions on this issue, and recommended that Dyson modify its advertising to avoid conveying the implied message that all of the air emitted by the appliance is purified.

The second issue concerned a comparison of the Dyson Fans to “other purifiers,” asserting that the Dyson Fans provided superior air purification performance.  The NARB panel agreed with NAD’s conclusion on this advertising, and recommended that the comparative claim be withdrawn or modified to make clear that the basis of the comparison was the fact that the Dyson units contain HFPA (high efficiency particulate air) filters compared to competitor air purifiers which do not contain HEPA filters.

As to the three issues on which the NARB panel agreed with Dyson and upheld its appeal, first, the panel agreed that the statement “HEPA Air Purifier” would not mislead consumers because the Dyson Fans did use HEPA filters, and the panel did not share NAD’s concern that the reference would mislead consumers concerning the manner of operation of the units as a whole.  Second, the panel agreed with Dyson that its use of the term “automatic” or its derivatives to describe the Dyson Fans would be understood by consumers as a reference to a unit’s auto-mode, which allow the units to self-actuate, and not to the speed at which the air in the room would be purified.  Finally, the panel concluded that Dyson’s reference in advertising to the industry-accepted EN 1822 standard (with which the Dyson Fans complied), did not mislead consumers regarding the HEPA standard, which, the panel concluded, was different in non-material ways from the EN 1822 standard.

Dyson stated that it would accept NARB’s recommendations, and noted its appreciation for NARB’s findings with respect to the three issues as to which the panel disagreed with NAD.

Note: A recommendation by NAD or NARB 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.