Monday, 14 June 2010

Copy That

A consumer complaint was lodged against a Konica Minolta’s Bizhub advert, in which it claimed that it was “South Africa’s favourite brand”. The complaint was that, while the product may be the best selling in the printer-photocopier market, its success in this niche market did not entitle the advertiser to claim it to be the “favourite brand” amongst all brands in the country.

In response, Konica Minolta submitted survey evidence and reports illustrating volume and market share. The Directorate accepted that this type of evidence was appropriate, however rejected the evidence on the basis that the sources of the information (IDC South Africa and InfoSource) were not approved by or acceptable to the South African Market Research Association, which is a requirement of clause 4.1.3 of Section II of the Code of Advertising Practice. It found that the claim “...Bizhub, South Africa’s favourite brand” was unsubstantiated and ordered it to be withdrawn in its current format.

Had the evidence provided by Konica Minolta been accepted by the Directorate and had it shown that the Bizhub product was indeed the market leader in printer-photocopiers, I would have been interested to learn the Directorate’s view of whether the advertiser could have made its “favourite brand” claim, or whether it would still have been ruled as unsubstantiated. I suspect that even had the advertiser argued that the claim applied only to the printer-photocopier market (in which it may well have been the “favourite brand”), the Directorate would still have found that the claim was too broad and unsubstantiated in the context of all brands in South Africa.

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