Advertising Claim Substantiation

Advertising Claim Substantiation: A Consumer Testing Perspective

(webinar length:  1h 15m)


In order to make advertising claims about product performance or comparative superiority, companies require data for substantiation of those claims to present to the media, TV networks and other authorities. For foods and consumer products claims, the substantiation often relies upon consumer testing, also commonly known consumer preference tests in the case of foods. Such tests are open to challenges from competitors that may be brought before the NAD (BBB) or the courts for litigation under the Lanham Act, or under FTC rules concerning unfair trade practices.

Consumer testing professionals in any food or consumer product company (e.g. home care, cleaning products, cosmetics and personal care products)are usually well-versed in testing regimens to support R&D inquiries into a product’s consumer appeal and/or perceived performance. However, withstanding the scrutiny of legal challenges often requires additional considerations and enhanced attention to detail for claim substantiation purposes.

This seminar will discuss some of the important considerations in advertising claim substantiation for food products. The perspective will be from that of a consumer testing specialist, and that of an expert witness, who might be testifying in support (or criticism) of a consumer test used as claim substantiation. Voire dire and impeachment strategies for expert witnesses, puffery defenses and materiality will be considered and discussed.

Disclaimers: The presenter will not present any legal opinions. He is not a qualified legal authority and is not admitted to the bar in any jurisdiction. He is presenting information only from the perspective of a behavioral scientist with experience in consumer testing and claim challenges.


Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the kinds of consumer tests used to substantiate advertising claims for foods and consumer products.
  • Obtain an overview of the ASTM Guide for Claim Substantiation and its requirements.
  • Understand how consumer tests can be challenged and criticized, including the cumulative “tipping point” line of attack and potential defense.
  • Understand the use of experts in claims tests challenges and defenses.
  • Understand how puffery can be used as defense and the concept of materiality.


Who will benefit:

  • Sensory evaluation and consumer testing practitioners
  • Market researchers and marketing managers
  • Advertising managers
  • Legal consultants and legal professionals
  • Public relations and public information teams
  • Food scientists, technologists and product developers
  • Expert witnesses involved in claims litigation


Presenter--Harry T. Lawless

Dr. Harry Lawless is Professor Emeritus of Food Science at Cornell University , where he has taught sensory evaluation and flavor science for 22 years. He is internationally recognized as a leading authority in sensory testing of foods and taste and smell research. Dr. Lawless is co-author of the leading textbook in sensory testing: Sensory Evaluation of Foods, Principles and Practices with Dr. Hildegarde Heymann of the University of California, Davis. Dr. Lawless received his PhD from Brown University and BA from Yale. He is the author of over 200 scientific papers and technical articles. During his professional career he has worked at the Monell Chemical Senses Center, S. C. Johnson Wax, General Mills, General Foods, Peryam and Kroll Research and the U. S. Army Natick Food Laboratories.

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Price $289.00