A common issue in false advertising and other types of consumer fraud cases is how consumers perceive and interpret specific claims made by a manufacturer. Manufacturers often promote their products by highlighting the product’s attributes on their packaging and in other marketing communications. The highlighting of attributes ranging from ingredients to efficacy, technical specifications, performance, and many others serves as a means of communication between buyer and seller and can have a strong influence on the consumer purchase decision.
Because of the strong direct potential to impact consumer decision-making, as well as serious health and safety implications, product labeling in the U.S. is governed by strict regulations developed by the FDA, FTC, and other regulatory bodies, as well as through guidelines for self-regulation developed by professional organizations for marketers. When it is alleged that a company has engaged in marketing activities that fall outside of these regulations, the result is often litigation.
Consumer perception of marketing claims can be tested through consumer research. Keegan & Donato Consulting has designed and executed many studies to determine how consumers in a particular market perceive a marketing claim and the extent to which those consumer perceptions align with the realities of the product being marketed. For example, Keegan & Donato Consulting has conducted studies in a number of recent cases involving “all natural” and/or “100% natural” product claims. These studies have examined how consumers perceive the natural claims and to what extent, if at all, the natural claims have impacted the consumer purchase decision. Through our research, we have provided our clients with reliable empirical data regarding consumer perceptions of the key claims driving their cases.