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The UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has ruled against a lab-created diamond company following a complaint about misleading advertising. | Source: Skydiamond
The UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has ruled against a lab-created diamond company following a complaint about misleading advertising. | Source: Skydiamond

Misleading advertising: Diamond industry’s war of words

The UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has ruled against a lab-created diamond company following a complaint about misleading advertising.

The Natural Diamond Council (NDC) filed a complaint with the ASA about an advertising campaign for Skydiamond, which debuted in February 2023.

The ad featured claims such as “Say hello to the world’s first and only diamond made entirely from the sky” and “We make diamonds using four natural ingredients, the sun, the wind, rain and something we have too much of, atmospheric carbon.”

The NDC complaint concerned a lack of clarity around whether the diamonds were natural or lab-created.

“Our top priority is to be a resource for the consumer to educate, inspire and instil confidence to assure them that they can trust the product they are investing in, whether it’s a natural diamond or a laboratory-grown diamond,” CEO David Kellie told Yahoo.

David Kellie, CEO Natural Diamond Council
David Kellie, CEO Natural Diamond Council
"Our top priority is to be a resource for the consumer to educate, inspire and instil confidence to assure them that they can trust the product they are investing in, whether it’s a natural diamond or a laboratory-grown diamond."
David Kellie, Natural Diamond Council

Skydiamond argued that because the advertising makes it clear the diamonds are not mined, it did not require terminology such as ‘synthetic’ or ‘lab-grown’.

The ASA ruled that Skydiamond’s marketing was misleading.

The ruling states, “The ASA considered that consumers would understand the word ‘diamond’ in isolation to mean a mineral consisting of crystallised carbon that was naturally occurring.”

“We considered that while some consumers may have been aware that synthetic diamonds could be manufactured or created in a laboratory, many would not.”

It continued: “We, therefore, considered that ads for synthetic diamonds needed to make clear the nature of the product in order to avoid misleading consumers.”

Skydiamond is owned by Ecotricity founder Dale Vince. He responded to the ruling by calling it baseless and a ‘mistake’.

“This complaint is not based on actual confusion on the part of the customer; it comes from the trade body for diamond mining companies. It is an attempt to use the ASA for anti-competitive purposes, and it is utterly baseless,” he said in a social media post. 

A spokesperson for Skydiamond said the company intends to appeal the ruling.

More reading
Leadership change for diamond industry advocate
Interruption or Disruption: Leadership crisis in the diamond industry
The dream of an inspired and informed consumer for the diamond industry
Natural Diamond Council announces new partnerships
WFDB partners with NDC, objects to Heidi Horten auction
New partnership for myth-busting Natural Diamond Council
New program to help retailers increase diamond jewellery sales

 











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