New York, NY – November 30, 2023 – In a challenge brought by Kingsford Products Company, the National Advertising Division (NAD) of BBB National Programs recommended that Royal Oak Enterprises, LLC:
- Discontinue the claim that Royal Oak Super Size briquets are 50% bigger than Kingsford Original briquets.
- Modify its advertising to avoid conveying a message that Royal Oak Super Size briquets provide the “best grilling experience” because they burn hotter and longer than competing briquets due to their larger size.
- Discontinue the claim that “a bigger briquet is a better briquet” or modify its advertising to limit the claim to consumer meaningful benefits for which Royal Oak has substantiation.
50% Bigger Claim
For Royal Oak’s advertisements, in which the object of comparison of its 50% bigger claim is not stated, NAD found that consumers may reasonably understand the comparison to be against Kingsford since Kingsford Original briquets comprise a significant share of the charcoal briquet market. Therefore, NAD assessed whether the 50% bigger claim was accurate with respect to Kingsford Original briquets.
NAD determined that Royal Oak’s testing in support of its “50% bigger” claim did not provide representative, statistically significant, and reliable support and recommended that the claim be discontinued.
NAD noted that Royal Oak is free to promote the size of its Super Size briquets or that its Super Size briquets are larger than competitive brands such as Kingsford, but any comparative size claims must not overstate the relevance of the size difference.
“Best Grilling Experience”
NAD found that in the challenged advertising the “best grilling experience” is linked to measurable product attributes; namely, the ability of the Super Size briquets to light fast and provide high heat and a long burn time. As the claim is linked to measurable performance within a comparative context, NAD concluded that it is not puffery and Royal Oak must have support for the claim.
Given that variables other than size may affect the performance of each briquet, NAD determined that Royal Oak’s comparative performance claim cannot be supported by reference to the products’ differences in size alone. Rather, the claim should be supported by properly conducted testing demonstrating that the briquets burn hotter and longer than competing briquets.
As Royal Oak did not provide such support, NAD recommended they modify advertising to avoid conveying a message that Royal Oak Super Size briquets provide the “best grilling experience” because they burn hotter and longer than competing briquets due to their larger size.
“A Bigger Briquet is a Better Briquet”
NAD determined that consumers may reasonably understand a “bigger is better” claim to mean more than just that a bigger briquet size is valuable but that a bigger briquet size is comparatively better in some recognizable or measurable way with respect to overall grilling performance. In some advertising, Royal Oak specifically ties the “bigger is better” claim to burn time and speed of combustion and thus reasonably conveys the message that a bigger briquet size corresponds to superior performance with respect to longer burn time and faster lighting.
Royal Oak did not present sufficient evidence to show that a bigger briquet size provides an overall performance advantage over smaller briquets or superior burning or combustion. Therefore, NAD recommended that Royal Oak either discontinue the claim that a bigger briquet is a better briquet or modify its advertising to limit the claim to consumer meaningful benefits for which Royal Oak has substantiation.
During the proceeding Royal Oak permanently discontinued several other challenged claims. Therefore, NAD did not review these claims on the merits.
In its advertiser statement, Royal Oak stated that that it “will comply with the NAD’s recommendations for the claims addressed in this Final Decision.”
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About BBB National Programs: BBB National Programs, a non-profit organization, is the home of U.S. independent industry self-regulation, currently operating more than a dozen globally recognized programs that have been helping enhance consumer trust in business for more than 50 years. These programs provide third-party accountability and dispute resolution services that address existing and emerging industry issues, create a fairer playing field for businesses, and a better experience for consumers. BBB National Programs continues to evolve its work and grow its impact by providing business guidance and fostering best practices in arenas such as advertising, child-and-teen-directed marketing, data privacy, dispute resolution, automobile warranty, technology, and emerging areas. To learn more, visit bbbprograms.org.
About the National Advertising Division: The National Advertising Division (NAD) of BBB National Programs provides independent self-regulation and dispute resolution services, guiding the truthfulness of advertising across the U.S. NAD reviews national advertising in all media and its decisions set consistent standards for advertising truth and accuracy, delivering meaningful protection to consumers and leveling the playing field for business.
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