An Advertiser’s Guide to Navigating Ad Claims
Here at ChefsBest, we believe that ad claims are an essential asset for most food & beverage brands. Toting awards and certifications, or taste-related claims are great ways to catch the eyes of potential customers. However, many advertisers in the food & beverage space misunderstand how to use ad claims properly, including what data and language are needed in order to substantiate potential claims. Recently, on our podcast Beyond the Shelf, we had the privilege to speak with Pamela Deese, Partner at Arent Fox in Washington DC. Pam’s practice focuses on advertising and intellectual property licensing. In this 3 part series, Pam broke down everything advertisers need to know about ad claims.
Episode 1 – The Basics
In the first episode of our series, we cover all the basics of ad claims. Pam explains the different types of claims, including what “puffery” is and how to determine when claims need substantiation. She also goes into detail about what type of data or information is needed to make a claim, and when that information needs to be obtained. We also touched on a few topics that are discussed at length in the next two episodes, such as why it’s important for all members of your team to be aware of ad claim laws and regulations, and what happens when you make a claim that you have not (or that cannot be) substantiated.
Episode 2 – Enforcement and Digital Platforms
In episode two, we get to the topic on everyone’s mind: how do claims made on social media or digital platforms fit into existing ad claim regulations. The answer is a lot more simple than you would think. Pam dives deep into the regulatory bodies that are responsible for implementing and enforcing advertising laws, and she goes on to explain why it’s valuable for brands to opt into the National Advertising Division (NAD) of the Better Business Bureau (BBB). In this episode, we also discussed the process that challengers may go through when they believe a brand is making a false claim, as well as some of the possible ramifications (monetarily and otherwise) that brands may encounter if they cannot provide proper substantiation.
Episode 3 – Setting Yourself Up For Success
In the final episode of our series with Pam, we touched upon many of the lingering questions we had after episodes 1 and 2. Pam explained how awards and certifications can be used in advertising and on package, why it’s difficult (but not entirely impossible) for brands to create their own certification programs, and why it is useful for brands to seek outside legal counsel. We also discussed why advertisers should keep up with recent rulings from the NAD, how to do so, and why all members of your team (not just marketers) should be knowledgeable about recent ad claim rulings.