JML Direct has had its knuckles rapped by the Advertising Standards Authority over a television advertisement for its Magic Carpet mat.
The ad compared walking on a normal doormat, which left a muddy footprint on the floor, with walking on the Magic Carpet, which left no dirty print behind.
A viewer who had bought the product challenged whether the ad was misleading because he found that the mat did not reduce footprints to the extent shown.
JML proved to the ASA that the Magic Carpet was capable of absorbing and holding a litre of water, and said the absorbency was demonstrated in the ad by water being poured on the mat. The water was mixed with mud to make the contrast clearer to viewers, but that did not suggest that the mat would retain more mud than a conventional doormat.
However, the ASA decided the ad gave the impression that the Magic Carpet would remove all mud and dirt from shoes, but noted that its ability to soak up mud and dirt had not been tested.
The voice-over claim, “What a mess! Muddy foot and paw prints trampled all through the house. What you need is the Magic Carpet”, reinforced the impression that the mat would soak up mud.
JML was told that the ad must not be broadcast again in its current form.