Four advertisements for electric mini-heaters have been banned for misleadingly suggesting they could provide cheaper heating than gas and save householders money.
The ads, for the InstaHeat, Keilini, Heater Pro and Heater Pro X, all suggested they were a cheaper alternative to gas central heating and could rapidly warm a room.
The advert for the Keilini heater said: “It’s not surprising this winter energy bills for an average household could hit £3,000. In these difficult times, people need a cheaper way to stay warm.
“This new type of ceramic heater has an incredible efficiency. Almost no energy is wasted. This is not only good for the environment, but also good for your wallet. It heats every area in your room in just 60 seconds. No other comparable heating device is as efficient.”
All four adverts used images of the same heaters, despite coming from different firms.
The ASA sought advice from the Energy Saving Trust, which said gas is currently cheaper than electricity and it is more efficient to heat a room with one radiator than with a plug-in mini-heater.
The regulator said: “Ads for products such as plug-in mini-heaters should ensure they’re not making inaccurate claims or exaggerate how effective they are. They should take care not to mislead around how much they cost to run, or imply that they’re more cost-efficient than central heating without sufficient evidence to back up the claim.
“We’ve banned all these ads and we’ll be keeping a close eye on claims around how consumers can save money on their bills, especially heating. We’ll be taking compliance action in the coming weeks to ensure consumers are protected and that ads which don’t comply with these rulings are removed.
“These rulings are a notice to advertisers that we won’t hesitate to ban ads that break our rules.”
An ASA spokesman added: “As lots of us are struggling with the cost-of-living crisis, we’re keenly aware that many consumers are worried about paying their bills. During the winter, that’s especially true for heating.
“It’s important that advertisers are particularly sensitive to this moment in time, when people are looking for ways to cut back and save money.”