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Published on May 23rd, 2018

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Cuisinart’s ‘The Most Trusted Name in the Kitchen’ Claim

If you were to ask someone what “the most trusted name in the kitchen” is, they might respond with “Grandma.” But according to Cuisinart, they would be wrong.

For more than three years, the home appliance brand has laid claim to the title, printing it on packaging for everything from hand mixers to coffee makers. And because it’s been doing it for so long without a formal challenge from a competitor, it shouldn’t have to stop.

At least that’s what Cuisinart would have argued in response to a recent National Advertising Division (NAD) inquiry into its use of the “most trusted” claim. But that’s not a tenable position according to NAD. So instead of mounting a defense, Cuisinart declined to participate in the self-regulatory process following a challenge from KitchenAid, leading NAD to refer the claim to the FTC for further review.

NAD said in a release:

[Cuisinart], stating that it has been making the challenged claim for more than three years, said it would not participate because NAD does not allow advertisers to assert a defense that a challenge was unreasonably delayed.

According to the release, there had been some back-and-forth between the brands before KitchenAid complained to NAD, during which time Cuisinart asserted that the “most trusted” claim is puffery (as opposed to an objective claim that requires substantiation — read more about puffery here).

NAD made clear that there’s no statute of limitations when it comes to inquiries involving potentially misleading ad claims, ending the release on this note:

NAD, like the FTC, reviews claims to ensure that advertising to consumers is truthful, accurate and not misleading, including advertising claims that have been on the market for some time.

For more of our coverage on appliances, click here.

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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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