An air purifier company just raised $58m, but an ad watchdog says something stinks

The Wirecutter says Molekule failed its purity test.


March 1, 2020

Photo by Nick van den Berg on Unsplash

Last week, the company behind the expensive air purifiers whose ads pollute your Instagram feed raised $58m in new funding.

But the product-review mavens at The Wirecutter got their mitts on a report that found many claims in Molekule’s advertising aren’t much more than a cloud of dust.

Why’s it matter? Well, one of Molekule’s leaders recently boasted that coronavirus “is actually a rather simple structure” for the company to “destroy.”

Oh really? The Wirecutter ripped Molekule a new air hole

The site’s guide to air purifiers called Molekule (which sells 2 different models, for $799 and $399) “the worst air purifier we’ve ever tested.”

Molekule’s competition got in on the action, too. Dyson, another peddler of primo purifiers, challenged 26 claims that Molekule made in its ads.

The Better Business Bureau’s National Advertising Division, which referees ad-related disputes between competing businesses, upheld all of Dyson’s claims. The NAD recommended that Molekule roll back many of its statements.

“A report this comprehensive makes it hard to take any of Molekule’s claims seriously,” wrote Wirecutter’s Tim Heffernan.

But Molekule isn’t ready to clear the air

Dilip Goswami, Molekule’s co-CEO, called Heffernan’s reporting “misleading” and “flat out wrong.” 

He said the NAD’s report didn’t take into account newer testing on the Molekule’s effectiveness.

The Great Clean Air War of 2020 isn’t over yet — Molekule is appealing some of NAD’s judgments, Heffernan said, and another decision is expected soon.

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