Published: 19 June 2024  (Updated: 19 June 2024)

ASA Ruling on Discrediting and Denigrating Claims

Upheld ruling on deodorant that discredited and denigrated a competitor's brand and products.

On 19 June 2024, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) upheld a ruling against social media adverts featuring a fictional product that implied the brand was better and more sustainable than an identifiable competitor.

The ASA considered that the purpose of the fictional product was to promote the brand, particularly in relation to the implied claim that they were a sustainable deodorant brand.  ASA considered consumers would immediately recognise that the font, colour scheme and the design of the product branding was almost identical to the branding of the competitors’ products, and therefore there was a direct comparison between the products.

The advert suggested the competitors’ products were of lower value and less desirable in comparison to the marketer’s brand, and other products on the market.

The CAP Code states marketing communications that include a comparison with an identifiable competitor must objectively compare one or more material, relevant, verifiable and representative features of those products.  It also states that marketing communications must not discredit or denigrate another product or marketer.  Adverts that include comparisons with competitors beyond a robust and objective comparison of their products or services risk breaching the rules.

The ASA determined that the adverts must not appear again in the form complained about and future adverts must not denigrate their competitors’ products.

Find us on...