Taking a look at ad "puffery"

Playtex won the lawsuit against Procter & Gamble for false advertising claims used in the launch of it’s Pearl Tampons.
Now take a look at this article, which takes a look at past legal battles that have ensued over false advertising, “puffery”, and other “better than” claims made in ads.

from the last link:

Advertisers got a lesson in the law last month when a federal jury ordered Procter & Gamble to cough up nearly $3 million for saying its Tampax Pearl tampons offered better protection and were more comfortable than rival Playtex's Gentle Glide brand. A judge later issued an injunction barring P&G from saying its tampons are superior.
Companies can get sued for saying their products are better? Since when?
Since 1946, to be exact, when Congress passed the Lanham Act, which bans advertising that "misrepresents the nature, characteristics, qualities or geographic origin" of a product.
The law prohibits ads that are literally false, as well as those that are truthful, but misleading. It does not, however, bar advertising that is mere "puffery," including vague assertions of excellence. The curious result: It is generally safer for a company to baldly say it is the best of the bunch than to say it is better than any single competitor.

Comments (1)

  • Dabitch's picture

    I'm glas somebody won a suit against P&G - wonder how Vidal is doing with his p&g fight.

    Jun 09, 2003

Leave a comment

about the author

caffeinegoddess I'm a creative director and copywriter with digital, integrated, and traditional expertise. I love sound strategy and great executions.