Following a UK Advertising Standards Authority ruling against British buggy company, iCandy; phil&teds chief cook and bottle washer, Campbell Gower, emphasises the importance of taking a stand for Kiwi innovation in the competitive world of kids stuff.
The UK’s independent regulator of advertising recently ruled that iCandy breached the advertising practice code through misleading statements made on their website.
While it was never disputed that phil&teds had been the first company to produce an inline single to double buggy, iCandy stated it had launched the first ever single to double pushchair in a single footprint.
The ASA concluded that iCandy’s claims were unsubstantiated and misleading to consumers. Gower welcomes the ASA’s decision.
“We’re a small company when compared to our competitors, based on the other side of the world. With no comparative advantage, living on the edge, as Kiwis, means we need to be inventive - and we are!
“Like any global brand, we’ve invested heavily in innovation - and with 44 patents to our name, we further invest in protecting those original ideas. We’ve been successful in pursuing some of the biggest brands in the industry when false claims are made.”
Gower notes that from the only portable cot that’s actually portable (as it’s lighter than the baby) to a brake that stops the buggy automatically, for over 20 years innovation has been a central plank to the phil&teds brand.
“My team invented these products, as well as the world’s first inline single to double buggy. And because they were creative, they deserve the right to be recognised as first - without ambiguity. This is just so important.
“In New Zealand, we’re a long way away from key markets. So, we’ve got to stand out; really capture consumer attention. One way we do this is with innovation. We find that need - a problem to be solved - and deliver on it in both an innovative and aesthetically pleasing way,” says Gower.
“We try authentically to lead, not follow. We understand parents need innovative solutions to make their lives easier and are fed up, along with retailers, with ‘me too’ copies.”
Parents around the world aren’t the only ones to appreciate phil&teds’ inline design. In 2015, the company won an international Red Dot design award for their convertible verve inline buggy.
“You do feel a little bit proud. Not only is it certification for our team to really stand up on the world stage and be counted, but also because the judges saw value in the designs we thought would resonate with consumers.”
He says “all our products are innovative, and adapt in some way to meet a family’s growing needs. In doing so, we create new categories, not just products.
“We’re never going to be the biggest buggy brand, but akin to our products we adapt. We’re agile. This is how we continue to set trends and global innovations from the other side of the world.”