Motorists are faced with spiralling costs virtually every day. It would therefore be quite easy to mislead the average motorist with claims that he or she could save money by using a specific product.
The Advertising Standards Authority, for example, has found an advertisement from Shell for the companys FuelSave diesel and unleaded fuels «misleading. The advertisements claimed that using the fuel could significantly improve a car's fuel consumption.
A series of radio advertisements and a direct mailing campaign by the company suggested that car owners could save up to one litre of fuel per full tank at no extra cost if they used FuelSave rather than convention fuel.
Several members of the public complained to the ASA that the advertisements exaggerated the benefits that can be derived from the use of FuelSave products.
The advertisements stated ¬These advanced fuels each have a special formula enriched with a Shell Efficiency Improver combined with a special detergent package ± designed to improve your fuel economy from the very first fill.®
The Advertising Standards Authority investigated the matter and upheld the consumers complaints. It ruled that Shell could not provide sufficient proof that an average motorist would experience fuel savings up to 2% simply by using the FuelSave products.
To be fair, Shell did submit the test results for four vehicles that were tested before and after using FuelSave fuel to prove that at least 10% of users could experience the savings claimed in the advertisements. The watchdog ruled that this was not sufficient to prove a general point.
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