Serta to drop Tempur-Pedic performance comparison claims
David Perry -- Furniture Today, January 11, 2013
NEW YORK — Serta said it will discontinue comparative advertising claims it has made about the performance of its iComfort line as compared with Tempur-Pedic sleep sets.
The National Advertising Division, an investigative body administered by the Council of Better Business Bureaus, said it has recommended that Serta modify or discontinue certain comparative performance claims made for Serta's iComfort Sleep System, including claims that Serta's product offers superior cooling benefits over Tempur-Pedic beds.
NAD is the advertising industry's system of self regulation.
NAD said that comparative performance claims made by Serta in Internet advertising and product brochures were challenged by Tempur-Pedic. They included cooling claims, air flow claims and claims that compare the support, pressure relief and therapeutic benefits of the competing products.
Serta issued this statement about the case:
"We are pleased that National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus found our claims about certain benefits to be substantiated by our extensive testing, including claims about cooling comfort, targeted support, pressure relief and a softer ‘feel' at cooler temperatures. These are benefits that we will continue to communicate to consumers going forward. Out of respect for the self-regulatory process, we have agreed to take NAD's recommendations into consideration in future advertising and will discontinue our comparative advertising claims. Serta will continue to work to introduce innovative product technology and advance our testing methods based on the NAD's guidance, with the goal of establishing in fact the superior attributes of our iComfort sleep systems."
Tempur-Pedic officials offered this comment:
"Since an advertiser's claims must convey a truthful, accurate and non-misleading message about the products it sells, we are pleased with the NAD's recommendation that Serta discontinue its inadequately supported comparative superiority cooling, support and pressure relief claims. When a manufacturer makes claims in its advertising, such as those made by Serta regarding the performance of its iComfort mattresses, it is important that the claims have support. If not, the consumer is misled, and the reputation of the industry is negatively affected."