The National Advertising Division (NAD) of BBB National Programs has recommended that Royal Oak Charcoal modify or discontinue certain claims for its Super Size briquets. This came from a challenge that Kingsford brought to the non-profit organization around consumer trust in advertising.
The NAD made the following recommendations about Royal Oak’s Super Size briquets.
- 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
While the NAD notes that Royal Oak is free to promote the size of their briquets, but they shouldn’t “overstate the relevance” of the difference in briquet sizes.
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.
National Advertising Division (NAD) of BBB National Programs
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.
“Best Grilling Experience”
The NAD’s complaint around Royal Oak’s claim of the “best grilling experience” is they haven’t provided support to substantiate that. Further, they don’t provide evidence to support that the grilling experience is linked to the size of the briquets alone.
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.National Advertising Division (NAD) of BBB National Programs
The NAD recommended that Royal Oak modify their advertising around providing the “best grilling experience”.
“A Bigger Briquet is a Better Briquet”
The claim of “bigger is better” relates to burn time and speed of combustion in Royal Oak’s advertising.
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.National Advertising Division (NAD) of BBB National Programs
During the proceeding with the NAD, there were other challenged claims, but Royal Oak permanently discontinued them. Following the above recommendations from the NAD, Royal Oak stated that it “will comply with the NAD’s recommendations for the claims addressed in this Final Decision.”