National Advertising Review Board Recommends SharkNinja Discontinue or Modify Certain Claims for Shark Air Purifiers

New York, NY – March 8, 2023 – A panel of the National Advertising Review Board (NARB), the appellate advertising law body of BBB National Programs, recommended that SharkNinja Operating LLC:

  • Discontinue claims that its Shark Air Purifier 6 meets or exceeds HEPA standards; 
  • Discontinue the claim that its air purifiers perform better than other HEPA-labeled air purifiers; and
  • Modify its “Clean Air 100%” claim by adding a clear and conspicuous disclosure explaining the basis of the 100% claim.

The advertising at issue had been challenged before the National Advertising Division (NAD) by Dyson, Inc. Following NAD’s decision (Case No. 7096), SharkNinja appealed NAD’s findings and recommendations adverse to it.

At issue in the proceeding were advertising claims for two types of units sold by the advertiser, the Shark Air Purifier 4 and the Shark Air Purifier 6. Each of these purifiers is advertised as containing a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter. 

 

HEPA Claims

In the underlying decision, NAD concluded that, based on Dyson’s rebuttal testing of off-the-shelf filters for the Air Purifier 6, SharkNinja’s production-line testing was insufficient to support its claims that the Shark Air Purifier 6 meets or exceeds HEPA standards. To be considered HEPA-rated, a filter must be able to remove at least 99.97% of dust, pollen, mold, bacteria, and any airborne particles with a size of 0.3 microns.

In agreement with NAD, the NARB panel concluded that Dyson’s testing on three filters raised sufficient issues as to require SharkNinja to have conducted its own testing of filters purchased at retail to properly support HEPA claims for its model 6 filter. 

 

Comparative Claim

In the underlying decision, NAD found that one message conveyed by SharkNinja’s claim that its filters are “True HEPA” whereas other “HEPA-labeled air purifiers can emit up to 10x more particles back into the air” and “can leave behind smoke, carbon dust, virus carriers, and mold” is that its purifiers are superior to other HEPA-labeled filters in the market. SharkNinja, however, only submitted testing comparing its product against one leading brand. In the absence of support for this message, NAD recommended that the claim be discontinued. 

The NARB panel affirmed NAD’s conclusions, finding that the challenged claim could be interpreted by reasonable consumers as communicating that many, if not most, competitive air purifiers making HEPA claims do not in fact deliver HEPA performance. 

 

Clean Air 100% Claim

In agreement with NAD, the NARB panel concluded that SharkNinja advertising with the “Clean Air 100%” product display misleads reasonable consumers by communicating that use of the SharkNinja air purifiers will remove all impurities from the air. Accordingly, the NARB panel recommended that SharkNinja modify the “Clean Air 100%” claim by adding a clear and conspicuous disclosure explaining the basis of the 100% claim (e.g., that 100% means that it has met EPA air quality standards).

SharkNinja stated that although it “respectfully disagrees with certain findings by the NARB Panel, it is a strong supporter of voluntary self-regulation and will comply with Panel’s recommendations.” 

All BBB National Programs case decision summaries can be found in the case decision library. For the full text of NAD, NARB, and CARU decisions, subscribe to the online archive.

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