Category Archives: Ad Watchers

How Can You Avoid the Grey Areas of Green Claims?



As consumers are increasingly focused on the impact of their purchasing decisions, companies are looking to convey information on the environmental attributes of their products, services, and sustainability performance.

In the season two premiere of Ad Watchers, La Toya Sutton and her new co-host, Eric Unis, walk listeners through environmental benefit claims, or “green claims,” to help advertisers and practitioners think about the questions they should ask when advertising in this arena. Listen in to hear the four critical questions that companies should ask themselves when developing advertising that incorporates any type of environmental marketing claims.

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

Love what you’ve heard? Tell us how we can deliver you more great conversations. Share your insights and suggestions for future episodes. 


What Evidence Do You Need to Support Health Claims?



Any sort of advertising claims related to health or wellness have a special place within advertising claims substantiation: all advertising claims need a reasonable basis, but when it comes to health claims, that reasonable basis has to be competent and reliable scientific evidence, or CARSE. This means that the results of any study done should reflect how the product will work in practice. Tune in to the final episode of Ad Watchers Season One to hear hosts Hal Hodes and La Toya Sutton break down what this evidence should really look like in practice.

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

Love what you’ve heard? Tell us how we can deliver you more great conversations. Share your insights and suggestions for future episodes. 


When Are Advertisers Responsible for Consumer Ratings and Reviews?



In the increasingly digital landscape, the influence of word-of-mouth has gone viral. Before making a purchase, consumers frequently turn to a product or service’s reviews and ratings. Since consumers trust what other consumers have to say, brands want to leverage these voices—but are they responsible for them? In this episode, Hal and La Toya explore endorsements and testimonials, as well as the broader category of the implementation of user-generated content in advertising. Listen in to learn about the lines between user-generated content versus testimonials versus endorsements.

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


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