ERJ staff report (TB)
NEW YORK-The advertising industry's self-regulatory forum has recommended that Michelin North America Inc. change or cease certain advertising claims for its HydroEdge tyre.
Michelin said it will appeal the recommendations.
Acting on a complaint from Bridgestone Americas Inc., the National Advertising Division (NAD) of the Council of Better Business Bureaus examined Michelin's ad claims to tyre dealers about the HydroEdge.
One of the ad claims in question was the phrase, â€œMore miles. More fuel efficiency. More than what you pay for.â€
The NAD also scrutinized Michelin's claims that the HydroEdge:
- Offers â€œ33,000 miles longerâ€ tyre life than other tyres;
- Brakes â€œ14 feet shorterâ€ than the competition;
- Is â€œ#1 in fuel efficiencyâ€;
- Is â€œlonger lasting (and) more fuel-efficientâ€; and
- Is â€œbest in its classâ€ for â€œsafety, durability, fuel efficiency and utility.â€
Although Michelin no longer distributes the brochures Bridgestone challenged, the tyre maker said it will continue to make those claims for the HydroEdge, the NAD said.
The NAD urged Michelin to bring the end notes qualifying its claims into immediate proximity with the claims themselves.
â€œUnless the end notes were carefully read and understood, a dealer could take away inaccurate and unsupported messages,â€ the organization said.
The NAD also objected to charts in the brochures that made comparisons with â€œcompetitionâ€ and â€œother tyres.â€ It recommended that Michelin avoid communicating comparisons with competing tyres in future advertising.
It also recommended Michelin take steps to ensure that the basis of comparison for all advertising on the HydroEdge Web site is clear.
In a statement, Michelin said it would appeal the NAD decisions regarding print advertisements to the National Advertising Review Board.
However, it said it will modify the ads on the HydroEdge Web page as the NAD recommended.
â€œThe NAD appropriately recognizes that the audience for the brochure consists of sophisticated tyre professionals and not general consumers,â€ the tyre maker said.
Bridgestone declined to comment on the ads.
From Tire Business (A Crain publication)