An advert for the “Good Night Anti Snoring Ring” appeared online. The advert stated that use of a Ring, which is worn on a little finger when asleep, prevents snoring and “actually works”. A complaint was made to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) on the grounds that the claims made in the advert could not be substantiated. Good Night Snoring argued that they had conducted a telephone survey which showed the effectiveness of the Ring and, in any event, it was clearly stated on the website that they offered a refund to anyone who found the Ring not to work, which, they argued, meant a consumer would understand that the Ring did not work for everyone.
The ASA ruled that the advert was misleading and that it should not appear again in its current form. The advert suggested that consumers would understand from the advert that the Ring stopped snoring, but the ASA felt that the telephone survey and other comments made on the website were not enough to support those suggestions. As there was not enough evidence to show that the Ring prevented snoring, the ASA said that the advert was misleading and breached the CAP Code (the code of practice that seeks to ensure that adverts are not misleading).
The ASA has said that an advert is misleading if it deceives a consumer and causes the consumer to take a transactional decision that they would not otherwise have made (i.e. buying the Ring). Although the CAP Code does not have legal force, it is best practice to comply with it, as failure to do so can result in bad publicity and ultimately an inability to obtain advertising space.