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Kyocera claims victory over HP ad spat

logo_top.gif VS hp_logo.jpg

Let’s get it on.

Kyocera has been in a bit of a fight with HP.

It sounds a bit like handbags at dawn, but Kyocera has fought HP over some advertising claims it made a while ago. These were over an HP claim that one of its printers had very few parts that require replacement.

Here’s the full release. Read between the lines for the meows:

Kyocera has succeeded in its campaign to stop HP from making misleading claims in advertising relating to the HP Colour LaserJet CP3505 printer. Kyocera lodged an official complaint with the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) when advertising appeared in trade magazines CRN and Microscope claiming that customers buying the HP Colour LaserJet CP3505 printer would only have to replace toner throughout the printer’s life “And nothing else.” The advert went on to state that “No drum, maintenance, fuser, cleaning or transfer kits” were required.

Kyocera challenged these claims on the basis that HP toner cartridges, which must be replaced each time the toner runs out, contain drums which are therefore also replaced regularly.

In concluding its investigation, the ASA made the following statement:

“Since our last letter, we have received a response from Hewlett-Packard. They have given us their assurance that they will remove the references to “replacement toner” and “no drum” from the ad and will not make similar claims about individual elements of the print cartridges in future ads; they will also make clear that it is the print cartridges that will need replacing.”

Kyocera’s General Manager Ian Joslin commented on the adjudication: “We’re delighted that HP has acknowledged that its ads were misleading and volunteered to amend them. People tend to believe the claims of blue-chip brands without question and there’s already enough uncertainty around the ongoing costs of running laser printers; it’s not helpful for HP to add to it by making claims which cannot be substantiated. We’re firmly committed to making it easier for printer users to compare the relative costs of using different printers so we felt compelled to challenge the validity of HP’s claims.

To claim on the one hand that users need not replace multiple parts during the life of the printer, and then to state on its cartridge packaging that 70% of the print engine is contained within the cartridges just doesn’t add up. Customers in any doubt as to the number of parts replaced each time an ink cartridge runs out should take a look at the number of individual parts a cartridge contains – around 60. Compare this to the five components in a Kyocera toner cassette and it’s easy to see which company really offers “toner-only” technology.”

Confirmation of the resolution of this complaint will appear on the Advertising Standard’s Authority’s website on Wednesday 19th September.

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