ROCKWOOL Group communication on fire safety
It is our aim to communicate correctly on fire safety in buildings.
Nevertheless, in 2013 ROCKWOOL International A/S lost a court case about articles in its Shareholder magazine “ROCKWOOL Newsletter” regarding fire safety and insulation. ROCKWOOL International has decided not to appeal based on the following view of the case:
Danish court case confirms superior fire properties of ROCKWOOL® insulation but rules against communication style
Danish court finds the ROCKWOOL Group’s fire safety arguments factual correct. But the Danish Marketing law sets certain rules on how the company can communicate these arguments and the court felt that ROCKWOOL International A/S had gone too far when communicating these in its shareholder magazine.
“Insulation with stone wool can act as a fire barrier.” and “Foam plastic in itself as a product can pose a significantly higher fire danger than ROCKWOOL stone wool insulation.”
In a court case between the trade organization Plastics Industry in Denmark and ROCKWOOL International A/S the Danish Maritime and Commercial Court found that the factual content of these and other claims were in their essence not false. The court based its conclusion on the information presented in court and the fact that the Danish Plastics Industry themselves explicitly had agreed that foam plastics in itself may pose a fire hazard that is considerably larger than the fire hazard posed by ROCKWOOL stone wool insulation.
The Danish Plastics Industry had claimed that ROCKWOOL International A/S in an article in its global shareholder magazine had put forward a number of statements on fire safety and plastic foam insulation which were against the Danish Marketing Law.
ROCKWOOL International A/S, on the other hand, claimed that this information was meant for investors and not consumers – and that it furthermore was addressing a global target group, describing a global trend within fire safety and insulation materials and could not be evaluated in a narrow Danish context. The purpose of the article was to provide investors with a better understanding of the ROCKWOOL business prospects and thus the value of the ROCKWOOL share. The superior fire properties of the ROCKWOOL products can have positive impact on future growth in its global markets and thus on the share price.
The Danish Maritime and Commercial Court, however, emphasized the Danish aspects of the court case, in particular the on-going debate on adjustments of the Danish rules for insulation materials, and found that the form, pictures and emotional wording of the articles were a violation of the Danish marketing law. The court found that the overall impression of the articles provided the reader with a too simplistic and unbalanced picture of fire properties of insulation products – despite the fact that the information brought forward in essence was factually correct.
The opponents had claimed that the articles were a serious violation and therefore should be subject to a damages and penalty. This was rejected by the court.
The court found in favour of ROCKWOOL International A/S in respect of the essential question regarding the correctness of the factual statements made by ROCKWOOL International A/S. The object of the dispute was an article in ROCKWOOL International A/S’ shareholder magazine made available to the investor community more than 2 years ago and the judgment will not have major effect on the ROCKWOOL Group’s ability to communicate via dedicated marketing communication about fire properties of insulation materials to its global markets following all relevant laws. For all of these reasons, ROCKWOOL International A/S has decided not to appeal the judgment.