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Advertising watchdog rules on the side of GardX claims regarding bird droppings

Advertising watchdogs have dismissed complaints against paint protection company GardX, ruling that it can say its products do protect against bird droppings.

The Advertising Standards Agency investigated after two complaints regarding claims made in a brochure in November and on the GardX website in February.

Under the heading ‘bird dropping remover’, GardX said: “As well as being unsightly and unhygienic, bird droppings, due to their corrosive and acidic nature can permanently damage your vehicle's paintwork unless removed quickly.

“The GardX paint protection system will delay the corrosive effect of bird droppings but paintwork damage will occur if the droppings are not removed in a timely manner."

The complainants challenged whether the claim regarding the delaying effect was misleading and could be substantiated.

GardX provided three reports on tests it had carried out that examined the performance of painted metal panels treated with its products.

In its dismissal ruling, the ASA considered that consumers would understand the claim made in the ads as a statement that treated surfaces would not be damaged by bird droppings as quickly as untreated surfaces, although the GardX system would not entirely prevent damage from occurring if droppings were not removed.

“We understood that there was a recognised testing standard to replicate the effects of bird-dropping damage on paint, and expected that the advertiser's substantiation for its claims would include testing carried out under this standard.

“In light of the body of evidence provided by the advertiser, which we considered demonstrated that the product could provide protection and reduce damage caused by bird droppings, we concluded that the claim had been substantiated and that the ads were not misleading.”

> The ASA’s full ruling


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