London-based online mattress manufacturer Simba Sleep Ltd has failed to provide sufficient evidence to disprove claims the company advertised misleading information regarding who developed its product and the number of people tested.
Simba Sleep ran an advert on its website and official Facebook page seen on 23 March 2016, claiming that its Hybrid mattress was ‘developed with The Sleep To Live Institute’, as well as stating that it had tested its mattresses on ‘more than 10 million people’.
However, following a complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), stating that the claims were ‘misleading’ and challenged whether it be ‘substantiated’.
Simba Sleep responded to the complaint saying that it ‘paid a fee to The Sleep to Live Institute to use their testing equipment and research to test the Hybrid mattress’, which included ‘over 10 million people’s body profiles’.
Simba added that its testing on firmness of the mattress was in a UK warehouse, with the results sent to The Sleep to Live Institute for further ‘analysis’. This involved ‘comparing Simba Sleep’s data to The Sleep to Live Institute’s ‘databank’ of over 10 million body profiles’.
The report indicated that Simba believed ‘consumers would understand that the mattress had been tested using secondary data’.
Under an investigation into the complaint, the ASA said that the claim would be interpreted to mean that Simba Sleep had created the mattress in ‘active collaboration’ with The Sleep to Live Institute and that it had been tested on 10 million ‘participants’.
ASA said that although Simba paid to use its testing methodology - through a diagnostic system covering 10,157,475 body profiles – The Sleep to Live Institute had no input to its production.
A statement within the ASA report ruled: “We therefore considered that Simba Sleep had not provided adequate evidence to support the claims (as stated above). We concluded that they had not been substantiated and were misleading. The ad must not appear again in its current form.
“We told Simba Sleep Ltd that their future marketing claims regarding who they developed their products with and the number of people they had been tested on must be supported with robust documentary evidence.”