American Marketing Association
Journal of Public Policy & Marketing
Extrinsic evidence is frequently offered in Federal Trade Commission advertising deception cases, most often in the form of advertising research, such as copy tests. Although generally accepted principles exist for copy test evidence presented before the Commission, how these principles are operationalized can provide fertile ground for challenges. Thus, the authors review six copy testing and ad interpretation issues from the recent Stouffer Foods case. The authors discuss difficult tradeoffs inherent in relative versus absolute claims, multiple claims, control ad groups, control questions, and disclosure information. The careful consideration of such trade-offs in advertising research decisions will help in the preparation of extrinsic evidence before the Commission.