We do give you thicker hair/skinnier dogs/network coverage even if it’s not 3G!
The New York Times writes today about the increased number of official complaints and lawsuits between competitor companies over advertising claims.
NYT: The goal is usually not money but market share. Companies file complaints to get competitors’ ads withdrawn or amended.
The cases themselves might seem a little absurd — an argument over hyped-up advertising copy that not many consumers even take at face value. Pantene has attacked Dove’s claim that its conditioner “repairs” hair better, and Iams has been challenged on one of its lines, “No other dog food stacks up like Iams.”
Dueling advertisers, however, argue that these claims can mislead consumers and cause a pronounced drop in sales. Since advertisers are required by law to have a reasonable factual basis for their commercials, their competitors are essentially demanding that they show their hand.
Read the full story here.
Is there anything more “inside baseball” than companies suing each other over ads?
This is a great, if that were the word for it, example of using the courts for little reason other to advance one’s business interest. The requirement that advertising be truthful is to protect consumers, an easy moral tenet to hide behind when suing a competitor for saying something bad about you.
Of course we need truth in advertising, but most of the ads causing enough trouble to sue over have been legally vetted a million times before they hit the air. Companies make sure they aren’t going to actually lose a lawsuit, even if they know a particular commercial is lawsuit-bait.
Basically these are creative quibbles few people outside the boardrooms and marketing rooms actually care about. But those inside them definitely care, and it allows litigators a chance to have a little fun.
The NYT points to Verizon’s response to AT&T trying to get Verizon’s “There’s a map for that” ads off the air while the related lawsuit works its way through the court system. AT&T did not sue because the ads aren’t true, Verizon’s filing says.
“AT&T sued because Verizon’s ads are true, and the truth hurts.”
Advertising via the federal court document system. They should probably an ap for that.
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