Creativity Brand Strategy

WaterWipes ad claiming to be ‘world’s purest’ deemed misleading by ASA

By Taruka Srivastava | Freelance journalist

June 28, 2022 | 4 min read

The UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has asked wet wipe company WaterWipes to stop advertising itself as the “world’s purest wipes” due to the tagline being misleading.

As per the body, WaterWipes didn’t have adequate evidence to substantiate the claim “world’s purest wipes.” The ad breached Cap Code (Edition 12) rules of misleading advertising and comparisons with identifiable competitors.

In February 2022, WaterWipes released a paid-for Facebook post that stated that “WaterWipes are purer than cotton and water, containing only two ingredients, 99.9% purified water and a drop of fruit extract. Making them the world’s purest wipes...”

WaterWipes claim of being "world's purest wipes" turned down by ASA

WaterWipes’ claim of being the ‘world’s purest wipes’ has been turned down by the ASA

The claim was challenged by Kimberly-Clark Ltd and the ASA, asking if the “world’s purest wipes” was actually verifiable.

The ASA assessed the evidence provided by WaterWipes and analyzed baby wipes launched between February 2012 and February 2022 in 83 countries. The report found that of the 3,622 baby wipes analyzed, there were seven other products besides WaterWipes that contained only two ingredients. The report also found that WaterWipes was the sole product that contained 99.9% water.

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However, the database monitored products in 86 countries, and the report had only examined 83 countries.

In a statement, the ASA said: “Consumers would understand the claim ‘world’s purest wipes,’ in the context of the ad, to mean that the wipes were the purest compared to other wipes that had been manufactured for the same purpose because they contained only two ingredients, and consisted primarily of water. We considered the claim would be understood as a comparison against the whole, global market for the product.”

However, WaterWipes UC in its defense said that ‘World’s Purest Baby Wipe’ was a registered EU trademark, which had passed through the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) examination process, including publication for opposition by competitors.

It added that the word “pure” was typically used to describe something that was extremely or very pure or that displayed the greatest extent of purity when compared to other things in the same group, and explained that the product comprised 99.9% water and 0.1% grapefruit seed extract.

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