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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
New Low-Budget Waiver is Now Available for Digital Commercial Productions
Advertisers and agencies that are signatories to the SAG-AFTRA Commercials Contract can now take advantage of a new waiver issued by SAG-AFTRA and the Joint Policy Committee on Broadcast Talent Union Relations when producing low-budget digital commercials.
November 10 2017
FTC Updates Endorsement Guide FAQs and Settles First-Ever Action Against Individual “Influencers”
Recent developments demonstrate the FTC's continued interest in social media endorsements.
September 11 2017
FTC Announces Reforms to Its Investigative Process
Recently, the FTC announced a set of internal reforms intended to improve the process by which the Commission investigates unfair, deceptive and fraudulent business practices. The reforms relate to the Civil Investigative Demands ("CID") that the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection issues to request information from investigation targets.
September 7 2017