Musto has withdrawn its latest wet weather gear advert because of complaints by two rival manufacturers

Musto has been forced to retract its latest advertising campaign headlined ‘Buying Offshore Foul Weather Gear?’ after a complaint by rival sailing manufacturers Douglas Gill International and Henri Lloyd was upheld by the Advertising Standards Authority, the regulating body for advertising in the UK.

Douglas Gill International and Henri Lloyd had taken issue with the advertisement which features a graph purporting to represent breathability and durability of each manufacturer’s top brand. The advertisement claimed “Independent testing has found that Musto HPX GORE-TEX Ocean Technology and Musto MPX GORE-TEX products are vastly more durable than either Henri-Lloyd’s TP2000 range or Gill’s 02 products.”

The complainants asserted that the advertisers had neither identified the tested products nor tested their competitors’ comparable products; and the suitability of tests, which had been done on fabric, not the finished product, and had been done by washing alone.

The authority noted the advertisers had compared fabrics used in two of their products, each of which incorporated a different grade of GORE-TEX fabric, with two non-GORE-TEX fabrics used in two of the complainants’ products. The authority noted some of both complainants’ products incorporated GORE-TEX fabric, which was of higher quality than their other fabrics that were included in the comparison.

The authority also considered that, because the test for durability was done on pieces of fabric that did not incorporate seams or stitching, not on the products themselves, the claim that the testing proved that the advertisers’ products were more durable than competitors’ products was misleading.

The authority asked the advertisers to change their claims before they advertised again.