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Coronavirus: Reusable copper face mask advert banned over ‘destroying germs’ claim

An advert for a reusable copper face mask has been banned for making misleading claims about the protection it provides.

The Easylife Group Ltd advert appeared in The Sun newspaper on 19 June, claiming the masks, infused with copper wire, provide “protection against bacteria and viruses”.

The advert said: “Attack is the best defence – and that’s what this face mask proves. It doesn’t just provide a passive barrier against bacteria, viruses, pollen, pollutants, dust particles etc – it takes positive action, destroying germs on contact.

“The secret is pure copper fibres infused in the polyester/spandex fibre.”

The Advertising Standards Authority said the advert was misleading because it implied the mask had a protective benefit for the wearer.

However, Public Health England has said wearing a face mask does not protect the wearer but may protect others around them.

The ASA said: “Marketers of face coverings and masks should not mislead consumers about the capabilities of their products, for example by giving the impression they would protect the wearer when there was little evidence that this was the case.”

The ASA also said there was no evidence the copper created an effective barrier that would kill particles of COVID-19.

The Easylife Group Ltd told the ASA it had amended the ad since it was published, but the ASA said it was “concerned by Easylife’s lack of substantive response and apparent disregard for the code”.

It continued: “We reminded them of their responsibility to provide a substantive response to our inquiries and told them to do so in future.”

It is the second advert from the Easylife Group that the ASA has banned for being misleading. The other ad was placed in the same newspaper in August.

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