NAD Recommends LG Modify TV Claims

by Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP
Contact

Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP

LG Electronics should modify or discontinue certain claims for its Super UHD and OLED television sets, the National Advertising Division has recommended.

Samsung Electronics introduced a new line of televisions in 2017 dubbed QLED, marketing the line as a significant improvement in television technology and performance that eclipsed other products such as LG’s Super UHD and OLED sets.

LG responded with claims on its website in connection with advertising for its Super UHD television under a large bold heading reading “Question the Q.” The site stated that the name QLED was “created to confuse consumers,” that “Facts matter, and there are none that support it [QLED] being the next innovation in television” and “the ‘Q’ in QLED is just marketing.”

Samsung challenged the claims before the self-regulatory body, arguing that they were false and disparaging. LG countered that little about the QLED televisions was new or innovative and that reasonable consumers would consider the claims to be statements that reflected LG’s opinion, not facts.

“An advertiser’s right to tout the benefits of its product must be carefully balanced against a competitor’s right not to have its product falsely disparaged,” the NAD explained while considering the dispute. “Claims that either expressly or implicitly disparage a competing product will be carefully scrutinized to ensure that they are truthful, accurate and narrowly drawn.”

The claim that QLED’s name was “created to confuse consumers” reasonably conveys the message to consumers that Samsung is intentionally misleading and tricking consumers, the self-regulatory body said. “While LG argued that it is merely citing experts and that the full claim reads, ‘Experts say, QLED’s name was created to confuse consumers,’ NAD noted that advertisers may not make claims either through consumer testimonials or expert endorsements that could not be substantiated if made directly by the advertiser. Because there was no evidence in the record that Samsung is intentionally trying to confuse consumers, NAD recommended that the advertiser discontinue that claim.

While the NAD declined to find the “Facts matter” statement constituted ash-canning, it was “concerned that the advertiser’s statement was presented in a conclusory manner that would lead consumers to believe that there are literally no facts to support QLED as being the next innovation in television.” As Samsung provided evidence that its QLED product is an innovation, LG’s claim was contradicted by the record and should be modified or discontinued, the NAD said.

However, the NAD found that the final phrase—“the ‘Q’ in QLED is just marketing”—was “framed as a clear statement of the advertiser’s opinion.” Consumers would understand this statement to mean that it was LG’s opinion—and not a claim requiring support—that Samsung’s QLED television does not denote a significant technological advancement, according to the decision. Therefore, no recommendation was made with respect to this statement.

To read the NAD’s press release about the case, click here.

Why it matters: For advertisers, the decision reflects the delicate balance between advertising the benefits of a product and the right of a competitor not to have its product falsely disparaged. Since two of the three challenged statements were found to have crossed the line, the NAD recommended that they be modified or discontinued.

 

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP | Attorney Advertising

Written by:

Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP
Contact
more
less

Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
Sign up using*

Already signed up? Log in here

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Custom Email Digest
Privacy Policy (Updated: October 8, 2015):
hide

JD Supra provides users with access to its legal industry publishing services (the "Service") through its website (the "Website") as well as through other sources. Our policies with regard to data collection and use of personal information of users of the Service, regardless of the manner in which users access the Service, and visitors to the Website are set forth in this statement ("Policy"). By using the Service, you signify your acceptance of this Policy.

Information Collection and Use by JD Supra

JD Supra collects users' names, companies, titles, e-mail address and industry. JD Supra also tracks the pages that users visit, logs IP addresses and aggregates non-personally identifiable user data and browser type. This data is gathered using cookies and other technologies.

The information and data collected is used to authenticate users and to send notifications relating to the Service, including email alerts to which users have subscribed; to manage the Service and Website, to improve the Service and to customize the user's experience. This information is also provided to the authors of the content to give them insight into their readership and help them to improve their content, so that it is most useful for our users.

JD Supra does not sell, rent or otherwise provide your details to third parties, other than to the authors of the content on JD Supra.

If you prefer not to enable cookies, you may change your browser settings to disable cookies; however, please note that rejecting cookies while visiting the Website may result in certain parts of the Website not operating correctly or as efficiently as if cookies were allowed.

Email Choice/Opt-out

Users who opt in to receive emails may choose to no longer receive e-mail updates and newsletters by selecting the "opt-out of future email" option in the email they receive from JD Supra or in their JD Supra account management screen.

Security

JD Supra takes reasonable precautions to insure that user information is kept private. We restrict access to user information to those individuals who reasonably need access to perform their job functions, such as our third party email service, customer service personnel and technical staff. However, please note that no method of transmitting or storing data is completely secure and we cannot guarantee the security of user information. Unauthorized entry or use, hardware or software failure, and other factors may compromise the security of user information at any time.

If you have reason to believe that your interaction with us is no longer secure, you must immediately notify us of the problem by contacting us at info@jdsupra.com. In the unlikely event that we believe that the security of your user information in our possession or control may have been compromised, we may seek to notify you of that development and, if so, will endeavor to do so as promptly as practicable under the circumstances.

Sharing and Disclosure of Information JD Supra Collects

Except as otherwise described in this privacy statement, JD Supra will not disclose personal information to any third party unless we believe that disclosure is necessary to: (1) comply with applicable laws; (2) respond to governmental inquiries or requests; (3) comply with valid legal process; (4) protect the rights, privacy, safety or property of JD Supra, users of the Service, Website visitors or the public; (5) permit us to pursue available remedies or limit the damages that we may sustain; and (6) enforce our Terms & Conditions of Use.

In the event there is a change in the corporate structure of JD Supra such as, but not limited to, merger, consolidation, sale, liquidation or transfer of substantial assets, JD Supra may, in its sole discretion, transfer, sell or assign information collected on and through the Service to one or more affiliated or unaffiliated third parties.

Links to Other Websites

This Website and the Service may contain links to other websites. The operator of such other websites may collect information about you, including through cookies or other technologies. If you are using the Service through the Website and link to another site, you will leave the Website and this Policy will not apply to your use of and activity on those other sites. We encourage you to read the legal notices posted on those sites, including their privacy policies. We shall have no responsibility or liability for your visitation to, and the data collection and use practices of, such other sites. This Policy applies solely to the information collected in connection with your use of this Website and does not apply to any practices conducted offline or in connection with any other websites.

Changes in Our Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to change this Policy at any time. Please refer to the date at the top of this page to determine when this Policy was last revised. Any changes to our privacy policy will become effective upon posting of the revised policy on the Website. By continuing to use the Service or Website following such changes, you will be deemed to have agreed to such changes. If you do not agree with the terms of this Policy, as it may be amended from time to time, in whole or part, please do not continue using the Service or the Website.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about this privacy statement, the practices of this site, your dealings with this Web site, or if you would like to change any of the information you have provided to us, please contact us at: info@jdsupra.com.

- hide
*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.