Presentation on theme: " Topic: Puffery in advertising Question: Is puffery acceptable? My position: No, puffery is not acceptable. Define terms Present supporting arguments."— Presentation transcript:
Topic: Puffery in advertising Question: Is puffery acceptable? My position: No, puffery is not acceptable. Define terms Present supporting arguments Discuss a few cases What this means for us as future advertisers/how we can make a change
Legal definitions: the practice by a seller of making exaggerated, highly fanciful or suggestive claims about a product or service an exaggerated claim of quality exaggerated commendation especially for promotional purposes: “hype”
The FTC allows marketers to use puffery. The reasonable consumer should know better. Caveat emptor: means “let the buyer beware” In calling for the outlaw of its use, a New Jersey judge called it “the seller’s privilege to lie.”
Puffery = Subjective (Unverifiable claims) A legal way of promoting a product or service through hyperbole or oversized statements that cannot be objectively verified. Examples: “Best part of waking up is Folger’s in your cup” “Gillette. The best a man can get.” False Advertising = Objective (Verifiable claims) Illegal marketing claims occurs when factually false statements are used to promote a product. Examples: Stating that a car gets 35 miles per gallon when it actually only gets 30 mpg Stating that a knife is so sharp, it can cut through rock.
Claims are not proven. Can be potentially inaccurate. They are not intentionally false, but they do have false implications.
2010 VitaminWater Case An advocacy group called CSPI complained that VitaminWater’s health claims were misleading. Puffery causes people to make irrational choices based on irrational desires. Not all consumers know puffery when they see it. We cannot assume everyone is a “reasonable consumer.” Research shows that people often believe what they are told in advertisements, or are unaware of the puffery.
Fraud: the wrongful or criminal deception intended to result in financial or personal gain. a person or thing intended to deceive others, typically by unjustifiably claiming or being credited with accomplishments or qualities. Puffery: exaggerated commendation especially for promotional purposes. Not literally false, but has false implications
Violates the Golden Rule: “Treat others how you would want to be treated.” People don’t want to be deceived. “All of us who professionally use the mass media are shapers of society. We can brutalize it, or we can help lift it to a higher level.” – Bill Bernbach
“The consumer isn't a moron; she is your wife. You insult her intelligence if you assume that a mere slogan and a few vapid adjectives will persuade her to buy anything. She wants all the information you can give her.” – David Ogilvy A “free choice” is a choice that has as its basis on reason, as opposed to some irrational inclination, though the choice might have been initiated by some desire. Puffery encourages compulsory behavior.
Children see about 40,000 ads per year. Children lack cognitive defenses when viewing ads Puffery is the main tool used in children’s advertising Yale study: marketing that targets children with energy-dense, nutrient-poor foods is a likely contributor to the childhood obesity crisis. Results: children could not distinguish artificial flavoring in fruit cereals or beverages Researchers concluded this result is due to puffery Is it really “part of a balanced breakfast”??
We have to face the facts… People lie and cheat to get ahead. Puffery is inevitable in a free market economy. Competition is high, and some companies will go as far as they can to make money. If we banned puffery, most advertising would be illegal. But don’t lose hope! There are things we can do to reduce puffery. It is possible to tell authentic stories in a low- trust world. We can present the facts in a creative, non- dry way. Plus, truth-telling can actually lead to greater brand loyalty.
Increased consumer knowledge More substitute products consumers can consider Reduced market power for any individual brand Lower barriers to entry for new brands More product innovation More consumer choice and price benefits
Industry standards are adopted by individual business firms, by advertisers' associations, and often by the media—such as newspapers, magazines, radio, television and the Internet. The National Advertising Division has established a National Advertising Review Board comprised of advertisers, advertising agencies, and the general public to deal with complaints. A Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU), as the name implies, reviews advertising in all media targeting children 12 years old and younger.
FTC regulations should be tighter, or more advocacy groups should be formed to fight puffery. Reduce puffery in children’s advertising. The unethical nature of puffery gives advertisers a bad reputation Why claim to be the best when you can do better? We should seek methods of persuasion that won’t hurt your effort either way, and may you look even more creative! We should invest in long-term change by committing to more truthful advertising.