April 24th, 2019
The National Advertising Division (NAD) dusted off the dictionary in a recent decision that resulted in the recommendation that Goya cease advertising its Excelsior pasta as “Puerto Rico’s favorite pasta.” NAD rejected the advertiser’s argument that the claim amounts to puffery, writing in a press release:
Observing that “favorite” is defined as “[a] person or thing that is preferred to all others of the same kind or is especially well liked,” NAD found that the advertising reasonably conveys a message that Excelsior is preferred to all other pasta brands in Puerto Rico. NAD stated that such brand preference claims for a particular market are objectively measurable.
Goya disagreed and rather than provide NAD with substantiation for its “Puerto Rico’s favorite pasta” claim, which appears on product packaging and in social media posts like the one above, said it would appeal the decision.
Riviana, maker of competing Ronzoni pasta, challenged the claim with NAD.
Find more of our recent coverage on puffery here.
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.