“ Pilkington Activ™ is a permanent, dual action, self-cleaning glass. Beware of imitators!” That is the unequivocal warning from Pilkington to fabricators and installers as its massive television, newspaper and Internet advertising campaign for Pilkington Activ™ reaches homeowners throughout Britain.
“As you would expect since we launched Pilkington Activ™ more than three years ago, as the product has become established and created a new niche market, a number of other products that claim to be ‘self-cleaning’ to one degree or another have emerged,” said Matt Buckley, Marketing Director for Pilkington Building Products UK.
“Competition is fine as this can help a new market to develop and grow,” added Buckley but, he warns, it is important for installers to offer only genuine Pilkington Activ™ self-cleaning glass, when that is what a customer asks for in response to the publicity campaign. There are coatings out there that purport to be “self-cleaning” but are only hydrophobic or hydrophilic, for example they may make the rain run-off. Pilkington Activ Ô also breaks dirt down – these coatings don’t. Also many coatings are sprayed on – they are not permanent and fail to work after a period of time and should be stripped off and re-applied. As with so many things, you get what you pay for.
“All of the advertising and supporting information given on web sites and other material are quite specific to Pilkington Activ™, which is the world’s first self-cleaning glass and revolutionary with its dual action cleaning process, explained Buckley. “Installers may be making a big and expensive mistake if they switch the specification, knowingly or otherwise, from Pilkington Activ™ when that is what a customer is responding to, and has asked for. Installing anything else, whatever the claims for a product by its suppliers, is inviting problems and is simply not worth the risk.
“There seems to be quite a lot of misleading information being claimed by companies offering high performing glasses whether it is in terms of self-cleaning vs low maintenance or in terms of solar control and U value performance and this cannot be good for the industry in the long term.”
The warning comes as Pilkington’s advertising campaign, the biggest undertaken specifically for a branded flat glass in at least a decade, will reach more than 30 million people in a campaign designed to drive homeowners through the doors of double glazing companies throughout the UK.
Initially, breaking from the middle of February and running through to the end of April – targeting home owners as they begin the process of choosing their new replacement windows and conservatories as the weather improves – the TV, newspaper and magazine advertising is supplemented by a special website and public relations activities that guarantee reaching Britain’s top home improvement spenders.
Since its launch the product has been widely featured in the press and on television and has been chosen by thousands of homeowners throughout the UK, who are now enjoying windows installed with glass that, quite literally, continually cleans itself using a coating that is activated by daylight and rain.