Volume 16, Issue 5 - September/October 2012
The text of the ad, published by United Kingdom-based Northgate Solar Controls (NSC), read as follows: “How safe are you behind your glass? Clear anti-shatter window film helps to: Prevent flying glass from explosions. Stop spalling if glass is hit. Reduce risk by ensuring glass breaks safe. Upgrade glass to comply with BS6206 Standards.”
According to the report from the ASA, the NSC ad also claimed there was a “red alert for [the] Olympic Games” in place and made references to “terrorist threats.” The flyer was mailed to about 4,400 London and surrounding county businesses by the company in February 2012.
“You may have already been visited by the met[ropolitan] police or other government agency to warn you of the current highest level security alert which is being issued ahead of and for the duration of the Olympic Games … The message that the police and the home office are giving includes the precaution to consider the strength of your glazing and upgrade it where necessary with the application of a tough clear security film as a deterrent to lethal flying shards of glass in the event of a bomb blast in the vicinity of your building …,” said a letter that accompanied the ad.
The ASA began to investigate after it received a recipient’s complaint questioning the offensiveness of the NSC ad and whether it “caused undue fear and distress.”
In response to the ASA investigation, NSC officials advised the agency that “the mailing was not intended to offend or cause undue fear or alarm but was simply to help minimize the risks in the event of an explosion by the application of bomb-blast film.”
The company also states “that prior to compiling the mailing, the company had been told by a customer based in North London that the police had visited them and told them they needed to have bomb blast film applied before the Olympics due to the increased risk of terrorism and in view of protecting members of the public from shattered glass,” according to the report.
NSC also advised ASA that it did receive a complaint about the image of the bus bombing and then withdrew the mailing, according to the report.
As part of its investigation, the ASA also contacted the police about the ad, and, according to the report, police officials advised that “they routinely encouraged businesses and other organizations to implement protective security measures, with laminated glass being one such measure …”
The ASA alleges that the ad made false claims, such as that the highest security alert was in place and that security measures relating to film installation were included in listed precautions for the Olympics, and therefore the complaint was warranted.
“We also noted the mailing’s references to ‘suicide bombers’ and ‘undetected sleeper cells’ and, taking all of the above, considered that the tone of the mailing had exaggerated the potential threat faced by businesses due to the Olympic Games and could have caused undue fear and distress to someone who received the mailing,” writes the ASA.
ASA concluded that the ad breached Committee Advertising Practice Code, specifically rules 4.1 and 4.2, which claim violation of harm and offense, and decided the ad “must not be repeated again in its current form.”
According to its website, the ASA is an independent organization “that monitors advertising and ensures that consumers can trust what they see in advertisements.” The group both accepts complaints and makes judgments about advertising code violations within the United Kingdom.
In cases such as that of the NSC ad, the ASA’s procedure is to publish a report about its investigation and decision. If companies do not adhere to its decisions, ASA officials say they “reserve the right to refer them to other bodies for legal sanctions, such as the Office of Fair Trading.”
The Azbee is a national award and the FILM’d video newscast, produced by Window Film magazine appeared in the category of Webcast Series. Editor Katie O’Mara and video producer, Chris Bunn were recognized for their efforts at the Central-Southeast Region Awards Banquet and ceremony, August 3, 2012 in Washington, D.C.
“We are so pleased to be named the winner for this award,” said Debra Levy publisher of Window Film. “Our staff put a great deal of work into providing this newscast for our industry, so it is nice to see our efforts recognized.”
The national award is incredibly competitive as entrants are compared against publications from New York, Atlanta, Washington. D.C. and across the country.
“The purpose of the meeting was to present the latest information on the program’s goals, research agenda and current R&D activities, while receiving feedback from stakeholders on program needs and priorities,” said Walt Zalis, market transformation lead for Energetics Inc.
One of the new technologies featured was 3M’s Polymeric Multilayer Infrared Reflecting Film Development Project, which is intended to develop a polymeric multilayer infrared reflecting film that is clear and colorless in the visible portion of the electromagnetic spectra (with visible light transmission of about 89 percent). The film would reflect 90-95 percent of the infrared energy in the 850 nm to 1830 nm specified spectra, according to 3M representatives.
The total amount of the project that is federally funded is 55 percent ($1,966,611) versus a non-federally funded or private share portion of 45 percent ($1,609,045). 3M representatives also said the company has tracked portions of the project that are complete including modeling resins systems and layer constructions and modeling IR reflecting film in multiple window or glass constructions nearly finished.
The next phase of the project includes “optimizing the 7-11 system performance for maximum solar heat gain performance and additionally to demonstrate optimized 7-11 system performance on large-scale equipment,” said 3M representatives.
Solutia also introduced the company’s new low-emissivity energy-control retrofit window film project. The company’s Steve DeBusk, global energy solutions manager, said that prior to this project the best window film emissivity was 0.33. Suspended films that are used mostly for new construction (not retrofit) achieved 0.03 emissivity and glass coatings could reach 0.013 emissivity, but the same coatings were not viable on flexible window films. Additionally, he said glass coatings limited environmental exposure inside a sealed unit and retrofit window film needs corrosion resistance and abrasion resistance.
The technology development required for the project included “flexible metal and/or metal oxide coatings, improved corrosion resistance (compared to glass coatings) and abrasion resistant coating, to protect low-E coating, which is nearly invisible in the far-IR.”
The project scope included development of two products including “a medium visible light transmission, low SHGC product for use in cooling dominated climates, mainly for use in commercial buildings and a high visible light transmission, low reflectance, medium SHGC product for residential and commercial use in all climates, but particularly for heating-dominated climate zones,” said DeBusk.
The financial details of the project included a DOE Grant of $357,000 and internal costs of $291,000. Solutia officials confirmed that there is no additional work planned.