It’s hard to top a #1 advertising claim. It is one of the most obvious and compelling claims a company can make against the competition. This claim, however, is often contested, and the substantiation should be clear and recent, as we see in a recent and instructive NAD ruling.
Twilio sells a customer data platform (CDP), which permits companies to gather customer data from disparate locations and unify it, to better understand their customers and thereby improve their marketing and customer experience. Twilio’s advertising claimed that it was the #1 CDP by 2020 market share, as measured by the International Data Corporation. Competitor Adobe argued that Twilio claim was misleading because it did not account for more recent competitors entering the market, one of which was Adobe. Adobe also claimed that the study was not properly disclosed and challenged this using its appearance in Google search results.
NAD Ruling for #1
The NAD ruled that the study used by Twilio substantiated the claim, because it did indeed rely on the most recent available data. But that the disclosure should more clearly state the age of the data and the relationship of the study to the claim, the ruling said. On a billboard, Twilio’s claim to be “the #1 CDP” was displayed in much larger letters than the disclosure, which was in one corner and said “#1 CDP for worldwide market share (IDC 2020).” NAD determined that “(IDC 2020)” was not adequate as a disclosure and may also be confusing, so it recommended that Twilio work the disclosure into the main part of the advertising claim.
Similarly, NAD recommended that Twilio make the disclosure clearer on its website, which made the #1 claim in a large font and used a smaller font to say “IDC report on 2020 market share rankings for Customer Data Platforms is now available.” As with the billboard, NAD found that this disclosure did not make it clear that the #1 claim was based on market share, and therefore, the disclosure could be confusing. With respect to advertising on Google, NAD further recommended that Twilio include the disclosure in its Google search results that make the #1 claim.
When you are making a #1 claim, your closest competitors will seriously scrutinize the details. To survive that kind of scrutiny, it’s important to be sure that your data is recent, your disclosures are appropriate, and your claims are properly substantiated. And of course, be sure that your claims match your data.
MMR Strategy Group conducts reliable consumer surveys and research, specializing in claims substantiation for advertisers who want to be sure of their claims before they go to market. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help substantiate your advertising claims.