Whether and in what form test reports or test results may be used for promotional purposes depends on the type of test.
A distinction is made between 2 cases:
(1) Certification (eco-INSTITUT-Label)
(2) Laboratory test
(1) Certification – advertising wanted
Certification according to the eco-INSTITUT-Label criteria means: extensive measurements of emissions, odour and unwanted substances, compliance with strict pollutant limits and – last but not least – regular monitoring of the certified products. A contractual basis between the eco-INSTITUT and the label holder ensures that the products bearing the eco-INSTITUT-Label correspond to the tested sampling piece (and thus have the tested properties) – and that this remains the case throughout the entire period of time of a certification’s validity.
The result: more testing efforts and higher costs – but also more safety in regard to product quality. Our customers should also be able to show this to the outside world: Therefore, the use of test reports, certificates and labels for advertising purposes is, of course, permitted – and explicitly wanted!
(2) Laboratory test – limited advertising
In order to protect the eco-INSTITUT-Label, the label holders and consumers, we limit the advertising use of test reports that are not based on any certification to certain applications. This minimises the risk of confusion with the certification.
In the case of laboratory tests based on legal requirements (e.g. AgBB scheme, French VOC regulation), the customer may – after consultation – publish the test report as technical documentation (e.g. on the company’s website) and thus use it for limited advertising purposes. The test reports of eco-INSTITUT contain an expert opinion part documenting compliance with the respective legal requirements or classifying the tested product according to the requirements.
For all other laboratory tests – such as tests according to individual testing programmes and tests according to the criteria of voluntary quality labels – the following applies: Neither test report nor test results are to be used for advertising purposes.
- Tests according to an individual testing programme are (usually once-only having taken place) pollutant checks without specific, comparable criteria – advertising would be misleading here! Consumers should not assume that comprehensive tests have been performed and regular inspection takes place (as with a certification).
- In the case of voluntary quality marking, certain label providers explicitly prohibit the publication of the underlying test reports. For most labels it also applies that the (laboratory) test report is only one component of the certification and therefore does not mean compliance with the complete certification criteria on its own. If only the (laboratory) test report is commercially published it could be misunderstood or even contradict the label criteria. For the protection of consumers and for the protection of the quality labels, the following applies: No advertising with the test report of eco-INSTITUT!