A national press ad, for fridge freezers, stated "If the thought of ever doing this again makes you shiver... Bosch frost-free fridge freezers." The ad featured a picture of a basin filled with ice in front of an open freezer door. On the floor, beside the basin, was a hairdryer. Six readers complained that showing an electrical appliance next to water was irresponsible.
BSH Home Appliances Ltd t/a Bosch said the ad was part of a campaign that used everyday problem scenarios that could be solved by using Bosch products. They explained that the ad illustrated the problem of defrosting a freezer and then presented a negative solution, defrosting a freezer with a hairdryer, and a positive solution, investing in a Bosch frost-free fridge freezer. They explained that the slogan "If the thought of this makes you shiver..." was supposed to convey the notion that using an electrical appliance near water was dangerous and unnecessary. Bosch argued that they prepared their marketing communications not only with a sense of responsibility to consumers and society, but also to maintain their brand reputation and integrity.
The complaints were not upheld by the Advertising Standards Authority. The ASA noted Bosch's comments and considered that most readers would understand that the ad was underlining the benefits of a frost-free fridge freezer, rather than recommending the use of an electrical appliance to defrost a freezer. We considered that the style and presentation of the ad was unlikely to encourage people to emulate the activity and that it therefore was unlikely to be seen by most readers as irresponsible or condoning unsafe practices. We did not object.