Koala Sleep mattress ads ruled ‘misleading and deceptive’ after competitor complaints

The Advertising Claims Board has upheld the complaint by mattress manufacturer AH Beard that competitor Koala Sleep produced “misleading” and “deceptive” ads claiming Koala’s products are “Australia’s best-rated mattress” and “the world’s best mattress”.

Koala responded to the complaint made by its competitor agreeing the “claim could be misleading” and discontinued the use of any “world’s best” in its advertising.

A Koala ad on the website stating it is the highest rated mattress

“On the Billboard the words ‘Australia’s best-rated mattress’ are adjacent to the words ‘Product Review product of the year’ on the right hand side of the Billboard. There are no asterisks or qualifying language. In the radio advertisement the phrase “Australia’s highest rated mattress” is also used without subsequent qualifying language.

“The Board considered a reasonable consumer would understand these claims as representing that the Koala Mattress had been rated more highly than any other comparable mattress by some rating process or system, probably by reference to consumer ratings,” the Board noted in relation to the Koala ads.

Finding Koala Sleep’s ads were misleading and deceptive, the Board said the ads suggested the mattresses available for sale at the time implied they had been rated more highly than any other Australian mattress, which was not the case.

Responding to the ruling, Koala Sleep said: “Without accepting the accuracy of the Board’s determination and without any admission that it has contravened any relevant legislation or the Code, Koala has considered the reasonable steps required to modify its advertising, and confirms it will take the following steps.”

The ads were modified so it suggested it was the ‘highest rated mattress brand’ not ‘mattress’.

Koala’s ads also were changed so there was no mention of “product review product of the year” and instead stated it was the 2016 and 2017 product review award winner.



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