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Should awards companies get awards for misleading claims?

During 2021 I undertook an investigation into corporate awards. Are all awards equal? Some are clearly only paid-for marketing tools. And there are awards across all sectors too.

silver trophy award

As part of this investigation I came across the “Product of the Year Award”. I discovered that Product of the Year charges £18,000 to enter its award! The company running the award claimed that the prize was worth more than £800,000 in marketing benefits.

See ASA investigation forces change of wording on awards claim. Product of the Year removed this claim after my complaint.

Established in 1987 in France, Product of the Year is a global company operating in over 40 countries around the world.

I made a further complaint in November 2021. The company’s website featured this claim:

“Winners typically see a strong sales uplift immediately following their win, as 86% of shoppers are more likely to buy a product bearing the Product of the Year logo, and we have a logo recognition of 64% across the country. Sales tend to uplift by 10-15% on average, with some brands seeing increases as high as 135%.”

I believed they were misleading and questioned whether they should be substantiated. So, I alerted the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) about the claims.

Following an intervention from the ASA, Product of the Year has agreed to remove the claims from its website.

The ASA announced its decision today, 26 January 2022, stating that the case had been “informally resolved”.

“Product of the Year” has now removed both of the misleading claims from its website.

I contacted the company for comment but at the point of publishing it has not responded.

Organisations such as Product of the Year, which seem to be misleading both businesses and consumers, should be more careful in the claims they make and in the advertising material that they publish.

 

By Helen Dewdney, The Complaining Cow

Consultant | Author | Speaker | Blogger | Presenter | Journalist
Helping to make, prevent and deal with complaints

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