Monday, April 16, 2012

BBB Recommends Tennant Discontinue Certain Claims for ec-H20

The National Advertising Division (NAD) of the Council of Better Business Bureaus (BBB) has recommended that Tennant Company, a manufacturer of commercial floor cleaning equipment, discontinue certain claims promoting the superior performance of the company’s “ec-H20” technology. Nilfisk-Advance, Inc. challenged the following claims at issue before NAD:
  • ec-H20 “electrically converts water into a superior cleaning solution.”
  • “Independent studies show that ec-H20 outperforms [many] conventional chemicals.”
  • “ec-H20 technology makes water perform like a powerful detergent.”
  • “Tennant ec-H20 is proven to reduce environmental impact by up to 98%”
The advertiser asserted that it had permanently discontinued some of the claims at issue, prior to the challenge, including “Tennant’s ec-H20 is proven to reduce environmental impact by up to 98%” and “ec-H20 technology makes water perform like a powerful detergent,” measures NAD deemed necessary and proper.

Following its review of the evidence in the record, NAD determined that the remaining advertiser’s claims, “ec-H20 electrically converts water into a superior cleaning solution” and “ec-H20 outperforms [many] conventional chemicals” were broad superiority claims of floor cleaning performance that were not adequately supported by the evidence of comparative testing in the record. NAD recommended that these claims be discontinued.

NAD determined that although the advertiser established that ec-H20 technology can help customers reduce costs of chemicals, a message the advertiser is free to communicate, the evidence in the record was insufficient to support the advertiser’s quantified save “up to 100%” claim. NAD recommended that the claim be discontinued.

Tennant, in its advertiser’s statement, said the company “stands behind the advertising claims it has made about ec-H20 technology and does not agree with all of NAD’s recommendations. However, since the advertising claims at issue in this challenge have run their planned course, Tennant Company will consider the NAD’s recommendations in future advertising.”

Read the full press release at or download at

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