Hop it! Ad watchdog gives Duracell bunny marching orders

23 August 2017 - 08:09 By Dave Chambers
Duracell told the ASA that its claim relied on tests by a leading global quality assurance company‚ which compared its batteries with Eveready Power Plus Silver AA batteries.
Duracell told the ASA that its claim relied on tests by a leading global quality assurance company‚ which compared its batteries with Eveready Power Plus Silver AA batteries.
Image: Gallo Image/iStock

The Duracell bunny has been told to stop rabbiting on about its stamina.

Advertising claims that the black-and-bronze batteries “last up to 10 times longer” are untrue and must be withdrawn‚ the Advertising Standards Authority has ruled.

Rival Eveready complained to the watchdog that in tests adopted by the South African Bureau of Standards‚ Duracell batteries lasted between 3.5 and 4.1 times longer than its own products.

This was “a far cry” from Duracell’s claim and showed that it relied on “unstandardised testing protocols to exploit consumer credulity and exaggerate the superiority of its products”.

Duracell told the ASA that its claim relied on tests by a leading global quality assurance company‚ which compared its batteries with Eveready Power Plus Silver AA batteries.

But the authority’s directorate said: “To the hypothetical reasonable person‚ the reference to lasting 10 times longer presupposes that ordinary use would deliver similar results.

“It is not clear why [Duracell] chose to forego industry standardised testing in favour of specific testing done on very specific toys when it can reasonably be assumed that the vast majority of consumers will not use the advertised batteries in those toys‚ and will not interpret the claim to be limited to only those toys.”

The ads’ disclaimer‚ which the ASA said was “in a minute‚ nearly illegible font at the bottom”‚ also limited the broad claim to “a specific battery size in a specific context”‚ which made it misleading.

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