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Published on April 2nd, 2013

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Are Mattress Claims Keeping You Up at Night?

Tempur-Pedic’s claim that its premium memory foam mattresses “sleep cooler” than other mattresses and provide unparalleled cushioning and support has been called into question by an advertising self-regulatory board.

The National Advertising Division (NAD), an arm of the Council of Better Business Bureaus, determined that Tempur-Pedic Management Inc. has not supplied sufficient evidence to establish a reasonable basis for the claim. NAD’s ruling came after the advertising was challenged by competitor Serta, Inc.

While Tempur-Pedic submitted tests performed at a lab in Germany, NAD said the testing was problematic. It recommended that Tempur-Pedic abandon the advertising claim that its mattresses have “unparalleled cushioning and support for all night comfort” and that “no other mattress can match our TEMPUR material in delivering your best night’s sleep.”

Tempur-Pedic took issue with NAD’s findings but said it would take NAD’s recommendations into account for future advertising.

Meanwhile, Tempur-Pedic took issue with numerous Simmons Bedding Company claims for its ComforPedic Mattresses from Beautyrest. NAD, in a March ruling, said Simmons provided a reasonable basis for its “cooling” claims and ability to support and provide pressure relief but couldn’t support comparative superiority claims, nor advertising claims that its mattresses “promotes proper sleeping posture.”

Simmons also said it would take NAD’s recommendations into account for future advertising.

What does all this mean for the consumer? Some late-night reading about mattress claims may help you get a better night’s sleep.

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The National Advertising Division, or NAD, is an investigative unit of the advertising industry’s system of self-regulation. It is administered by the Council of Better Business Bureaus. NAD asks advertisers to substantiate or change their claims in advertisements. As part of a voluntary system of self-regulation, however, its recommendations can be ignored by the offending advertisers. In those instances, NAD refers the offender to federal consumer protection agencies.

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