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Library: News: The ASA and “Service-Free” Extinguishers

Introduction

The UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (“ASA”) has today (22 March 2017) published confirmation that, following the ASA’s involvement, Britannia Fire Ltd (“Britannia Fire”) have agreed to amend or withdraw advertising1.

For some time, Anderstore has been increasingly concerned over some of the advertising of products in the fire industry that might be misleading and/or condone or encourage unsafe, unsound or unwise practices that may put people’s lives, property, reputations and/or statutory compliance at risk.

Last August, we raised several concerns with Britannia Fire about their advertising of the P50 extinguishers2, including those relating to their claims that the P50 was:

  1. “service free”3 , “self-maintained”4, able to “be maintained in-house by three simple checks”4, etc.;
  2. “recyclable”5; and
  3. “corrosion free”3.

Regrettably, our concerns were not adequately addressed, leaving us with little choice other than to formally complain to the ASA.

ASA’s Investigation and Outcome

The ASA advised us on 13 March 2017 that they had concluded their investigation and following their consideration of our complaint have resolved the matter as above, with Britannia Fire agreeing to amend or withdraw advertising.

Further detail was provided to us, but the ASA have asked that we treat this in confidence.

We are cautiously satisfied with this outcome as a first step to remedying the broader problems and would like to thank the ASA for their assistance and diligence with this matter to date.

We will keep Britannia Fire’s adherence to the agreement under observation in the coming days and are also currently following up on other concerns. We will of course continue to work with the ASA where appropriate to help ensure fair and responsible fire-industry marketing whether by Britannia Fire, distributors that may propagate irresponsible claims, or otherwise.

Further Information

Fire extinguishers should be selected and positioned in accordance with BS 5306-8, commissioned in accordance with BS 5306-3 and maintained in accordance with BS 5306-3. If you are an end-user and wish to arrange this, please contact us.

The UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (“ASA”) can also be reached on 020 7492 2222.

“Britannia”, “Britannia Fire”, “Fireworld” and “P50” are not trademarks of Anderstore Ltd, but may be trademarks of their respective owners.

Footnotes and References

  1. The ASA webpage also used to state “After consideration of complaints we received, the following companies and organisations agreed to amend or withdraw advertising without the need for a formal investigation”, but a subsequent amendment has removed this
  2. Sometimes labelled, and/or referred to, as “Fireworld”.
  3. e.g. Britannia Fire’s home page (as at 22/03/17)
  4. e.g. Britannia Fire’s webpage “Essex County Fire & Rescue Service” (as at 22/03/17)
  5. e.g. Britannia Fire’s downloadable brochure “BF-P50-Brochure-2016” (as at 22/03/17)





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