NAD Finds “Best. TV. Ever.” Is Puffery; Recommends LG Discontinue “Perfect Color” Claim

New York, NY – Feb. 1, 2019–Following a challenge by Samsung, the National Advertising Division recommended that LG discontinue its claims that its OLED televisions have “Perfect Color” but found that other claims were either supported or puffery.

NAD is an investigative unit of the advertising industry’s system of self-regulation and is administered by the Council of Better Business Bureaus.

Samsung argued that LG made a series of unsupported comparative claims about its televisions’ color performance in various advertising materials, including point-of-purchase retail displays and website advertising. The challenged claims included “The Definition of True Color” and “True Color Accuracy,” which were featured in in-store displays alongside marketing videos that included side-by-side images comparing LG television images with those of “Conventional TV’s.” Also challenged were the claims, “Perfect Color,” “Best Picture Ever,” and “Best. TV. Ever.” (and “Best TV Ever”). In addition, Samsung contended that testimonial videos featuring filmmakers did not properly disclose the material connection between those featured and LG.

During the course of the NAD proceeding, the advertiser informed NAD in writing that it is permanently discontinuing the claim “Best Picture Ever” and that it will modify any side-by-side visual comparisons between its televisions and “conventional” televisions to clarify that the comparisons are between older LG models and its current models. It also stated that it is modifying its testimonial videos to more clearly disclose the material connection between the filmmakers and LG. NAD’s decision noted that, for compliance purposes, the discontinuance and modifications will be treated as though NAD had recommended them and that the advertiser agreed to comply.

LG argued that the remaining challenged claims use vague and unquantifiable terms like “true,” “perfect,” and “best ever” and are puffery.  It also noted that each statement is presented in a monadic context such that no reasonable consumer could take away a comparative superiority message from the advertising.

NAD determined that the claims “Definition of True Color” and True Color Accuracy,” in the context in which they appeared (in-store displays), did not convey a comparative message.  Rather, NAD concluded that, these are monadic claims about LG’s televisions’ color performance and accuracy—claims that were supported by the evidence in the record.

However, as for LG’s “perfect color” claim, NAD found that the evidence in the record did not support this claim. NAD determined that consumers would understand this claim to mean that LG’s televisions produced accurate reproductions of all colors visible to the human eye or perfect color accuracy, a message the evidence in the record did support. Accordingly, NAD recommended that the advertiser discontinue this claim.

Finally, NAD concluded that LG’s claim, “Best. TV, Ever.” (and “Best TV Ever”) was puffery, noting that it does not call out specific measurable attributes and that the claim’s context did not tie the statement to other objective comparisons. Rather, NAD found, the statement falls in line with the type of general boastful pride that consumers understand to be a statement of opinion–not proven fact.

In its advertiser’s statement, LG stated that it is “pleased with NAD’s determination that allows continued use of “The Definition of True Color,” “True Color Accuracy,” and “Best TV Ever” and that it agrees to comply with NAD’s other recommendations.

Note: A recommendation by NAD to modify or discontinue a claim is not a finding of wrongdoing and an advertiser’s voluntary discontinuance or modification of claims should not be construed as an admission of impropriety. It is the policy of NAD not to endorse any company, product, or service. Decisions finding that advertising claims have been substantiated should not be construed as endorsements.