A common issue in false advertising and other types of consumer fraud cases is consumer perception of specific claims made by a manufacturer. A survey designed and executed by Keegan & Donato Consulting can provide you with reliable empirical data about the key claims driving your case.
Trademarks (e.g., brand names, product names, slogans) and trade names may be challenged as false or misleading in situations such as:
- Challenges by a competitor under the Lanham Act
- Class actions brought by consumers under deceptive trade practice and unfair competition laws
- Challenges by a competitor before the National Advertising Division (NAD) of the Council of Better Business Bureaus
- Actions initiated by the NAD against advertisers
- Actions initiated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for deceptive labeling and advertising
- Challenges brought by the Federal Trade Commission under the FTC Act for unfair and deceptive acts and practices (including deceptive marks)
Manufacturers often promote their products by highlighting the product’s attributes on their packaging and in their advertising. The highlighting of attributes ranging from ingredients to efficacy, technical specifications, performance and many others, is a means of communication between buyer and seller and can have a strong influence on the consumer purchase decision.
Due to the strong potential for impacting consumer decisions and serious health and safety implications, product labeling in the U.S. is governed by strict regulations as well as through guidelines for self-regulation developed by professional organizations for marketers. When a company is alleged to have engaged in marketing activities that fall outside of these regulations, the result is often litigation.
Testing Consumer Perception
Consumer perception of marketing claims can be tested through consumer research. Consumer surveys can also be a useful tool for brand holders who want to gauge consumer perceptions of products or services; evaluate the buying habits of their target market; test the marketplace for a new brand name, logo or idea; and other key marketing issues.
Consumer research is focused on collecting empirical data from relevant consumers through methodologically-sound, scientific, industry-accepted principles of survey research. Such research gathers data from consumers to determine how they understand the relevant issues in the case. These results typically are projectable to the broader population of relevant consumers in the market.
Keegan & Donato Consulting has extensive experience designing and executing 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, we have 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.
The real-world results that we have collected in consumer perception surveys have provided our clients a foundation for presenting fact-based evidence in support of their positions. Call Keegan & Donato Consulting at (914) 967-9421 to find out how a consumer perception study can help bolster your case.