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July 2nd, 2012
FTC Releases Study to Guide Advertisers Away from “Up To” Claims
The Federal Trade Commission ("FTC") announced the results of a study it commissioned, which indicates that many consumers understand "up to" claims as promising maximum results. The FTC believes the study will help guide advertisers to avoid the use of misleading "up to" claims.
In announcing the results of the study, the FTC stated that the study "reinforces the FTC's view that advertisers using these claims should be able to substantiate that consumers are likely to achieve the maximum results promised under normal circumstances." The FTC's position seems to be a departure from the standard set forth by many states and in the Better Business Bureau’s Code of Advertising, that advertisers must support "up to" claims with evidence that the maximum comprises "a significant percentage, typically 10%." The guidance announced by the FTC - that advertisers should be able to substantiate that "consumers are likely to achieve the maximum results" - appears to be more stringent than the commonly used “significant percentage” standard. This announcement may have widespread consequences for those making “up to” claims, at least with respect to savings claims.
The FTC's study was conducted in conjunction with investigations of five companies that settled allegations in February that they made false claims about how much money consumers could save on their heating and cooling bills by having certain windows installed.
If you have any questions about the FTC's study or "up to" claims generally, please contact Terri Seligman at (212) 826 5580 or firstname.lastname@example.org, Jeffrey A. Greenbaum at (212) 826 5525 or email@example.com, or any other member of the Frankfurt Kurnit Advertising Group.
Other Advertising Law Alerts
The Truth Will Set You Free: The FTC Provides New Guidance on Consumer Reviews
Late last year, Congress passed the Consumer Review Protection Act, a law designed to stop businesses from using contracts to prevent customers from posting honest reviews about the business.
March 8 2017
FTC Finds “All Natural” Claim Violated FTC Act
The FTC has issued a Final Order against California Naturel, Inc., a seller and marketer of personal care products, finding that the company's "all natural" claims were false and misleading in violation of the FTC Act.
December 15 2016
FTC Policy Statement Focuses on Homeopathic Health Claims
Last week, the Federal Trade Commission issued its new "Enforcement Policy Statement on Marketing Claims for Over-the-Counter (OTC) Homeopathic Drugs," as well as a staff report on a workshop that the Commission held last year on OTC homeopathic drug advertising.
November 28 2016