Category Archives: Ad Watchers

The Best Podcast Episode Ever: What is Puffery?



When you hear a claim in an advertisement like, “best in the world,” you probably know that the product has not been measurably proven to actually be the best in the world. And that’s okay, because this is an example of puffery, an exaggerated, blustering, or boastful statement or general claim that could only be understood to be an expression of opinion, not a statement of fact. But where is the line between puffery and a claim that needs a reasonable basis? In this episode of Ad Watchers, hosts Hal Hodes and La Toya Sutton break down the questions they ask to determine whether or not a statement is puffery. Later in the episode, they are joined by their colleague Eric Unis to judge the Battle Royale of Puffery: each host presents cases that illustrate various types of this practice. Tune in to hear which of our hosts has the best examples of puffery in the universe!

For more information about this episode, read the show notes here


How Do We Step into the Shoes of the Consumer?



When you see an advertisement, you are likely taking in much more than just the words you are presented with. The visuals, sounds, and way the language is presented can all impact the implied messages that consumers take away. In general, advertisers are required to have a reasonable basis for all messages conveyed, whether express or implied – that’s the easy part. But figuring out what message(s) are conveyed in their advertising – and therefore what messages need to be substantiated – can be hard.  

In this month’s episode of Ad Watchers, Hal and La Toya walk listeners through NAD’s process when deciding what messages are reasonably conveyed by an ad under review. Later in the episode, they are joined by Professor Margaret C. Campbell of UC Riverside to provide a deeper understanding of how consumers take in and understand advertising messages. Listen now!  

For more information about this episode, read the show notes here

What’s the Recipe for a Proper Advertising Disclosure?



 

While it may seem like a niche issue to some, disclosures are something every advertising lawyer needs to know about. On this episode of Ad Watchers, hosts Hal Hodes and La Toya Sutton break down the ‘Four Ps’ that advertisers must keep in mind when it comes to disclosures: prominence, presentation, placement, and proximity. Tune in to learn more about the ingredients you need for a properly disclosed advertising claim.

For more information about this episode, read the show notes here


What Does it Mean to Have a “Reasonable Basis” Standard?



Advertisers are required to have a “reasonable basis” for their advertising claims, but what is “reasonable” in terms of support and the level and type of evidence needed? In this episode of the Ad Watchers, hosts Hal Hodes and La Toya Sutton break down the standard that helps us determine what is reasonable: the Pfizer Factors. Tune in to learn more about each of the factors that form the flexible framework for advertising law today.

For more information about this episode, read the show notes here


So, Who’s Making These Advertising Rules?



In the Ad Watchers podcast series, National Advertising Division (NAD) attorneys Hal Hodes and La Toya Sutton break down common advertising practices to reveal the complexity of keeping claims truthful and accurate. In this first episode, the hosts talk about the guiding principle behind all NAD decisions: consumer understanding. Hal and La Toya discuss what it means to them to step into the shoes of the consumer and break down all of the factors that NAD takes into consideration during an advertising review that regulators (e.g., the FTC or FDA) may not.

For more information about this episode, read the show notes here.