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Samsung's Silver Nano Washer Ads Reportedly Exaggerated
Nov 21, 2005
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A laboratory test result showed Samsung Electronics’ Silver Nano washing machines are exaggerated. According to the Korea Consumer Protection Board, Samsung’s Silver Wash technology has no superior sterilization effect, as the company claims in advertisements, when compared with similar drum-type washers of LG Electronics, Daewoo Electronics and Whirlpool.

The consumer board said it will notify the result to the Fair Trade Commission, which may put penalties on Samsung for playing up its washers in TV and newspaper ads.

"All four washing machines removed 99.9 percent of four kinds of germs in the laundry, even without using detergent," said the consumer board in a statement. Samsung has been claiming that the silver-nano feature of its washers is what enables the appliance to sterilize and kill 99.9 percent of bacteria by generating anti-bacterial silver particles. Such silver-related washers are being sold at prices around 100,000 won (approx. U.S. $96) higher than ordinary ones, the consumer board said.

The board also said that the companies should not use the term "killing germs" in advertisements, as the machines are washing off the germs with water rather than killing them, and there is no evidence yet of the silver technology’s anti-bacterial properties.

Samsung refuted the accusation, saying their products are still superior because they remove 99.999 percent of germs, higher than 99.9-percent ability of others. However, the board said that such a claim cannot be an excuse for exaggerating the advertisement.

"It may be true that Samsung’s washers can kill 99.999 percent of the germs. But still it is incorrect to say that they are the only washers that kill most of the germs and bacteria," said Lee Dae-hoon, chief researcher of the consumer board’s test lab who conducted the test. "There is no specific law or industrial standard for sterilization by washing machines. So whether Samsung will be punished or not is up to the Fair Trade Commission," he said.

The test was conduced by the consumer board and the Ministry of the Commerce, Industry and Energy. It also rated LG Electronics’ washers highest in washing functions, and gave Samsung products the best mark in drying off the laundry. (The Korea Times)

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