Verification of lubes marketing claims

VLS maintains watchful eye over lubes products marketing claims.

Verification of Lubricant Specifications (VLS) has investigated several cases this year of misleading marketing of lubes products with companies making unsubstantiated manufacturer-approved claims.

The two common types of generic claims are:

  1. Approved - where the producer or marketer has applied to the OEM for a formal approval and
  2. 'Recommended for use', 'suitable for use' or 'meets the requirements of' which indicate that the producer or marketer has made a potentially flawed professional judgment based on technical evidence that a lubricant is suitable for an application.

With little consistency in this complex area of marketing, VLS aims to ensure clarity of the products available to meet a customer's specific need.

A complaint against several MPM Lubricants which was claiming Mercedes-Benz approvals, was investigated by VLS which established no reference could be found on the approved lubricants listing of the OEM's website. The investigation led to a move from formal approvals to ‘according to the specifications of …’ which were reflected in the products’ labels, website descriptions and the Technical Data Sheets.

A six-month review of the case has indicated continued compliance by the company.

David Wright, Company Secretary at VLS said: “We want to ensure we have the highest standards in Europe for lubricant manufacture, blending and marketing, and we want a ‘level playing field’ for all participants so that we protect the interests of the consumer and other end users.