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truth in advertising

Escalating Ad Wars Lead To The Courtroom

Posted by Abe Sauer on November 23, 2009 12:54 PM

After grabbing myself a slice at World-Famous Original Ray's Pizza, I wanted to find all the news that was fit to print, and was surprised by a New York Times piece on the sharp increase in brands suing each other over false claims.

So far, 2009 has seen 82 formal complaints over ad claims, according to The National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus, on track to exceed last year’s record of 84 challenges, up almost 40% from four years ago.

While the "studies show" tactic of demonstrating one brand's superiority over competitors is an ad cliché, those ads typically have used "other leading brands" as their contrast. Now, increasingly ruthless competition has seen brands outright naming, and denouncing, competitors. These lawsuits include DirectTV's claim about Charter Communication's service. Or AT&T's complaint, after Verizon Wireless attacked their spotty coverage with their mocking tagline, "There's a map for that."Continue reading...

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