Comparative advertising

Promoting products and services by comparing them to your competitors is a common advertising method. Comparisons can help consumers judge the relative merits of competing products and choose the one which best suits their needs and budgets.

As with all advertising, comparative advertising must not mislead or deceive. The comparisons you make must be accurate, should clearly indicate what comparison is being made and must be of 'like' products or services available in the same market.

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Claiming you're something you're not

Any claims made to bolster the image of your business, products or services must be accurate.

This includes claims you may make about your business or employees success, skills or test results. It also covers claims made about any endorsement, membership or approval of a trade organisation, eg 'Master Builder Guarantee' or 'AA approved'.

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Bait advertising

Advertising goods and services that you cannot supply in order to get people into your shop or an online sale is known as 'bait advertising' and is illegal.

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Jargon, exaggerations and puffery

It is important you consider what the average consumer would take away from your advertising, to ensure they are not misled. Exaggerations which are so obvious that they are unlikely to mislead anyone are known as ‘puffery’, however businesses still need to ensure that consumers are not misled by these exaggerations.

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Fine print

You need to ensure that the main message conveyed in any advertisement – whether in print, on TV, radio, or online – is accurate rather than relying on the fine print to correct a misleading impression.

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