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Pet detective claim in ad merited says ASA

20 October 2017

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has dismissed a complaint about a firm’s claim in an online ad.

The website and Facebook advertisement for Inspector Spot included the statement “New Zealand’s only Certified Pet Detective.”

A complainant said the advertisement was misleading as there was no substantiation for the advertiser’s claim. The advertiser provided evidence of their internationally-recognised certification.

The ASA’s Complaints Board said that not specifically mentioning the certification in the advertisement did not make it misleading, as there are links on the website with further detail about the service and qualification, should consumers require more information.  

Inspector Spot says, on its website, it finds lost pets "using the search strategies and forensic techniques that were developed by US Police Agencies to find missing persons".

Meanwhile, the ASA has not upheld a complaint about an ad for electric cars.

The television and digital advertisement for Meridian Energy’s electric vehicles states: “Meridian has always been committed to looking after New Zealand’s future. So that’s why they’re right behind electric vehicles. They’re good for the environment, just like generating power from wind … and they’re a great way for the drivers of today, to look out for the drivers of tomorrow. Join Meridian and help us in powering today and protecting tomorrow …”

A complainant said the advertisement claims were misleading because all cars have a negative impact on the environment.  The advertiser responded by saying that electric vehicles were a positive and sustainable alternative to fossil fuel run vehicles.

The ASA agreed that it was unrealistic to compare the environmental impact of electric cars against the absence of all cars and dismissed this as an argument against the advertisement.

Last updated on the 16th September 2019