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Why Comparative Safety Claims Can be Dangerous for Brands

Comparative safety claims can be a powerful advertising tool, especially when regarding products consumers cannot test themselves. For this reason, it is imperative that these claims are made with sound proof.

The FTC filed a complaint against Federal-Mogul Motorparts, LLC alleging that the Michigan-based auto parts seller falsely advertised safety claims of Wagner OEx  Federal-Mogul claimed in print, online, and TV that the product performed better than competitors; specifically the seller claimed that the break pads stopped drivers an additional 50 feet before competitors.

These statistics were found by an independent third party hired by Federal-Mogul to test the Wagner OEx brake pads against competing aftermarket products. The FTC asserted that the third party tester didn’t accurately reflect consumers’ real-world use, making the advertising claims unsubstantiated

The FTC’s proposed settlement prohibits Federal-Mogul from making unsubstantiated efficacy and performance claims about covered brake pads, voiding all brand and marketing material created from the initial campaign.

The FTC stated in an article about the case that “the case should remind advertisers that the FTC will take a close look at testing protocols. Companies should make sure their tests reflect real-world conditions.”


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