NAD Refers Advertising for NexGrill ‘Evolution Infrared Plus Grill’ to FTC After Advertiser Fails to Fully Respond to NAD Inquiry

New York, NY – Aug. 11, 2016 – The National Advertising Division has referred advertising claims made by NexGrill Industries to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) after the company failed to fully respond to an NAD inquiry into claims made for its “Evolution Infrared Plus” grill. NAD’s procedures require advertisers to state in writing at the close of a case whether they intend to comply with NAD’s recommendations or appeal NAD’s findings.

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

The claims at issue were challenged by Char-Broil, LLC, a competing maker of outdoor grills.

Char-Broil challenged claims that appeared at the advertiser’s website and YouTube pages including two videos – one shorter and one longer – promoting the Evolution Infrared Plus grill.   The full-length version also features commentary from the Senior Vice President and a design engineer from NexGrill.

Claims at issue included:

  • The first grill to allow chefs to cook with both infrared and direct heat
  • Provides the options to cook with all infrared heat, all direct heat, or combinations of both
  • The first infrared grill to allow chefs the choice to cook with infrared or traditional direct heat, or to use both cooking techniques at the same time
  • NexGrill’ s Infrared cooking system radiates heat from the patented heat plates
  • Patented Heat Plates
  • The special chamber firebox allows for the creation of zone cooking
  • The radiant heat pulls less moisture from your food, leaving a more tender and juicy meal;
  • The heat plates eliminate unpredicted flare-ups
  • Even-Heat System with stainless steel burners angled flame tamers and enhanced grates work together to distribute consistent heat across the entire grill surface and reduce flare-ups
  • Infrared grills that cook more evenly
  • New innovative evolution infrared cooking system for even cooking every time.

Char-Broil also requested that NAD determined whether the advertising at issue implied that the NexGrill Evolution Infrared Plus:

  • Allows users to exclusively use infrared cooking
  • Heat plates significantly increase the portion of cooking done by infrared heat, rather than convective heat
  • Heat plates prevent flare-ups and result in fewer flare-ups compared to grills without heat plates
  • Provide more infrared heat to the cooking surface than a standard convective system
  • Uses similar technology and delivers as much infrared heat to the cooking surface as competing infrared grills
  • Produces food that is more juicy than food cooked with a standard convective system and will be as juicy as food cooked with competing infrared grills
  • Provides more even cooking than other grills
  • Is equipped with a firebox that is effective at containing heat and creating distinct zones for cooking with infrared vs. convective heat

As support for its express claims, the advertiser provided a printout of a gas-grill comparison chart from Consumer Reports magazine. The chart compares NexGrill’s Evolution Infrared Plus grill to four different Char-Broil infrared grills and included an overall score, ratings on specific attributes and information about various features and specifications.

However, nothing in the chart indicates that the Evolution Infrared Plus grill is the first grill to allow for a certain type of cooking or that it provides any of the performance benefits the advertiser claims. NAD determined that the chart, standing alone, was insufficient to support the express claims at issue and recommended the advertiser discontinue its express claims.

The advertiser noted that it has applied for, but not yet received, patents. In the absence of any evidence that the heat plates are currently covered by a patent, NAD recommended that the claim be discontinued.

NAD determined that the challenged advertised reasonably conveyed the implied messages that the Evolution Infrared Plus grill allows users to cook exclusively with infrared heat, increase the amount of cooking done by infrared heat, and create zones of cooking.  Further, NAD determined that the challenged advertisements reasonably conveyed the message that the heat plates provide specific benefits – specifically, that the heat plates prevent or reduce flare-ups compared to grills without heat plates and that food cooked on the heat plates will be juicier than food cooked on standard grills or just as juicy as food cooked on competing infrared grills.

Given that the advertiser did not provide any substantiation for these implied claims, NAD recommended that the implied claims be discontinued.

The advertiser did not submit a written statement indicated whether it would comply with NAD’s recommendations or appeal NAD’s findings. In the absence of such a statement and pursuant to NAD’s procedures, the advertising at issue has been referred to the FTC for further review.

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.