The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has upheld a complaint by air jacket distributor Hit-air against its rival Point Two.

Point Two placed an advert in Horse & Hound, 24 March 2011 that implied that Hit-air jackets did not comply with British safety standards.

Although the advert did not name Hit-air, it appeared in the same issue as a news story about the launch of the company’s jacket.

The ASA felt readers would assume the comments were about Hit-air.

The ASA ruled that the claims were “derogatory to Hit-air and discredited its business“.

Rachel Ricci of Hit-air said: “ASA rules are rarely so blatantly disregarded.

“As a new venture we were horrified about the impact this would have on our business and the public’s perception of air vests in general.

“We felt it brought the whole air vest industry into disrepute.

“We are still asked by customers and potential stockists if our vests are CE certified.

“We are relieved that this complaint against Point Two has been upheld by the ASA.”

At the time of placing the advert, Point Two was convinced Hit-air jackets were not CE certified and was acting in the public interest, said the company’s Lee Middleton.

“Our concern was that if there was an accident and their jacket was not legal, the person who sold it would be prosecuted and everyone would drop air jackets,” he said.

“I did not want all our work to be for nothing.”

He now agrees that Hit-air jackets are fully tested and safe.

This news story was first published in the current issue of H&H (5 April 2012)