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Japan manufacturer ordered to take action over misleading 'spill-proof' kettle ad

Tiger Corp.'s electric kettle PCK-A080, which was the subject of action orders, is seen in Chuo Ward, Osaka, on Aug. 31, 2021. (Mainichi/Atsushi Inagaki)

OSAKA -- Japan's Consumer Affairs Agency issued action orders to electric appliance maker Tiger Corp. on Aug. 31 after determining that its advertising for an electric kettle claiming it would not spill water even if it fell over was a violation of the anti-false advertisement law.

    According to the agency and the Japan Fair Trade Commission, the kettle that was found to be in violation of the Act against Unjustifiable Premiums and Misleading Representations is the PCK-A080 model. The agency explained that there were cases where hot water would spill when the kettles fell over.

    In its TV commercials, the Osaka Prefecture-based manufacturer explained that the kettle is designed not to spill boiling water in case of accidents. The ad showed the kettle being knocked over on a sofa to show how the liquid inside would not spill.

    In response to the investigation, the company commented that they knew that if the kettle fell over, the liquid contents would spill. They reportedly said there was no liquid in the kettle when the commercial was filmed.

    Officials from the Consumer Affairs Agency and the Japan Fair Trade Commission's regional office explain about the action orders against Tiger Corp. in Chuo Ward, Osaka, on Aug. 31, 2021. (Mainichi/Atushi Inagaki)

    According to Tiger, just under 100,000 units of the kettle in dispute has been shipped in total since June 2019.

    The company told the Mainichi Shimbun, "We are taking the order seriously and will make improvements to prevent such incidents in the future. The absence of liquid (in the commercial) was part of a staged scene, but it was inappropriate."

    (Japanese original by Atsushi Inagaki, Osaka City News Department)

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