Dyson ad banned for giving impression fan was cordless

Jon Sharman

A Dyson television advert has been banned for misleading customers into thinking a high-tech fan was cordless when in fact it required a plug.

The spot promoting the Pure Hot + Cool Fan, which aired in April, showed the mains-operated device in a family’s open-plan flat.

Although the £550 fan/air purifier combo was shown from a number of angles – from above, the side and front-on – no cord or power outlet was visible, the Advertising Standards Authority said.

The next shot showed the fan in a different location on a light-coloured floor with a thin grey line leading into its base.

It led one viewer to complain that the advert gave the misleading impression that the fan was cordless.

Dyson argued that the fan was clearly shown as having a cord, which was distinguishable from both the floor and the rug.

The company added that if it were to create a cordless purifier, it was “reasonable to assume” that this would be one of the key features advertised.

Ad clearance agency Clearcast said Dyson had invested heavily in cordless products, such as its series of vacuum cleaners, “so one could be confident” that the it would promote any new addition to the range.

Upholding the complaint, the ASA said that “if the fan had a cord that plugged into the mains electricity, viewers would expect to be able to see it in those shots”.

The watchdog acknowledged that the final shot showed a cord leading from the base of the fan, although it was thin and grey on a light background and the same colour, thickness and approximately the same length as the edge of the carpet which appeared opposite it on the screen.

It said: “For those reasons, we considered that it could be easily missed and seen as part of the background by viewers.

“We concluded that, overall, the ad was likely to give consumers the misleading impression that the fan was cordless, and therefore that it breached the code.”

Banning the ad, the ASA told Dyson not to imply that its fans were cordless if that was not the case.

A Dyson spokeswoman said: “Dyson always works to ensure that advertising is clear and accurate. We therefore regret that a complaint has been received about this advert. However, in this instance, we disagree with the ASA’s decision. We have begun a process of appeal against this ruling.”

Earlier this year Dyson founder Sir James Dyson sparked controversy by announcing the company’s corporate headquarters would move from Wiltshire to Singapore.

In January the company’s chief executive Jim Rowan denied the move was linked to Brexit, and was designed to “future-proof” the company.

Sir James was a supporter of Brexit and had said he was “enormously optimistic” about UK trade post-exit. He denied moving the headquarters was hypocritical and added: “Success abroad means we can invest more here, as we’re doing, with new money going into research and development, building new campuses, educating a future generation, and creating new jobs.”

Additional reporting by Press Association