Shall I compare thee…? Making comparisons with identifiable competitors

May 4th '23

Making comparisons between your product or service and those of your competitors can be a great way to make your brand stand out in the marketplace, and help consumers decide which product or service is best for them.


If the audience is able to name at least one competitor or competing product when looking at a comparison, it will be considered a comparison with an identifiable competitor.


Make sure that your comparisons comply with the Advertising Codes by following the advice below.


  • Hold evidence

Unless it is an obvious exaggeration (‘puffery’) or a claim which will not be taken literally by the average consumer, you must not make any comparisons unless you hold evidence which substantiates them.


The type of evidence needed will depend on the claim made, and how it will be understood by consumers. Superiority claims, such as “best”,  “no. 1” and “leading” are likely to need different evidence to top parity claims. Whole market comparisons, such as “The UK’s number 1 breakdown service provider” need to be supported by evidence which relates to all competitors on the market, but comparisons about specific named competitors do not.


Be aware that self-reported consumer data will not be sufficient to support a claim that would otherwise require objective substantiation. See Comparisons: Awards and consumer surveys.


  • Compare similar products

Comparisons with identifiable competitors must compare products meeting the same need or intended for the same purpose.


Essentially, the products being compared must display a sufficient degree of interchangeability for consumers. Examples of acceptable comparisons include: branded and non-branded versions of the same underlying product, or different products which are intended to meet the same purpose, such as dishwasher tablets, or mobile phone networks.


  • Make the comparison verifiable

The Code requires that comparisons with identifiable competitors are verifiable.


‘Verifiable’ simply means including enough information in the ad to enable consumers to fully understand, and check the accuracy of, comparative claims. Unless a comparison is easily verifiable from the information within the ad itself, for example when making a direct price comparison between two products, the ad should signpost the information, which should be easily accessible, for example by including “*To verify visit www…” or “Contact XXX for verification”.


Source: Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP)


Note: This advice is given by the CAP Executive about non-broadcast advertising. It does not constitute legal advice. It does not bind CAP, CAP advisory panels or the ASA. CAP’s Advice Online entries provide guidance on interpreting the UK Code of Non-broadcast Advertising and Direct & Promotional Marketing.


About us

LS Consultancy are experts in Marketing and Compliance, and work with a range of firms to assist with improving their documents, processes and systems to mitigate any risk.


We provide a cost-effective and timely bespoke copy advice and copy development services to make sure all your advertising and campaigns are compliant, clear and suitable for their purpose.


Our range of innovative solutions can be tailored to suit your unique requirements, no matter whether you’re currently working from home, or are continuing to go into the office. Our services can be deployed individually or combined to form a broader solution to release your energies and focus on your clients.


Contact us today for a chat or send us an email to find out how we can support you in meeting your current and future challenges with confidence.


Explore our full range today.


Contact us



Why Not Download our FREE Brochures! Click here.


Need A Regulatory Marketing Compliance Consultant? A Bit More About Us


Call Us Today on 020 8087 2377 or send us an email.


We welcome individual bloggers / Professional Writers / Freelancers to submit high quality contents. Find out more…


You can see our Google reviews here.


Contact us