Objective vs. Subjective Marketing Substantiation
Which Is More Reliable?
When making an objective claim regarding the efficacy of the product, the advertiser needs to have objective substantiation to support the claim. Subjective support from unsolicited reviews, may not be enough to prove the objective claim made. Furthermore, objective substantiation “should be supported by objective testing that demonstrates the product works as claimed” according to a recent decision by the National Advertising Review Board (NARB). Stating that the claims are simply puffery does not support the objective claims made.
In this case, the advertiser made claims that its deodorant is…
“the only natural deodorant that really works” or “work[s] better than any store bought traditional deodorant.”
“People are saying it’s ‘the only natural deodorant that really works!’” and “It, hands down, works better than any store bought traditional deodorant you usually wear.”
When challenged by a competitor, however, the advertiser submitted the materials it relied upon to make the claims. The NARB decision states that the ” [c]onsumers would reasonably expect an advertiser to have substantiation for these claims, … but Schmidt’s did not provide substantiation with respect to whether its deodorants work better than competing deodorants.”
When reviewing marketing campaigns, it is crucial to know what objective proof the advertiser has to substantiate the claims made. Puffery is not always a successful defense to a challenge. #substantiationequalstrust, #tranparencyformstrust