Advertising claims - can you back yours up?

1:04 PM, 12 October 2016

when you advertise you need to back your claims up

ASA Appeal Board rules claims must be substantiated

A recent complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority reinforces to all advertisers the need to ensure they can substantiate any claim made.

The complaint was made about a TVC for the Ssangyong Korando SUV. The Complainant said claims that the vehicle was "New Zealand's best value midsize SUV" were misleading.

While the Complaints Board originally ruled that the complaint was not upheld, the decision was appealed to the ASA's Appeal Board.

After consideration, the Appeal Board said the advertiser had not substantiated the claim 'Best value' and that the advertiser must have a reasonable basis for making such a claim. It should be supported by sound, relevant, clear and robust evidence.

A "best value" claim would generally imply a comparison with other similar products available on the market. In this case this would mean a comparison with all the other midsize SUVs available on the New Zealand market.

In the absence of appropriate evidence supporting the claim, the Appeal Board ruled the advertisement was likely to mislead the consumer and had not been prepared with a due sense of social responsibility. Accordingly, the Appeal Board ruled the complaint as upheld.

For more advice on claim substantiation, the ASA has a useful guide for advertisers and agencies on how to respond to a complaint about claims you have made.

For more information and details about this particular complaint, please click here.

In all advertising, claims must be able to be substantiated. It is the advertiser's responsibility to be sure they can. As an industry do we take sufficient care on substantiation? All feedback, queries, and opinions are welcomed to

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