Spotlight on: Comparative Advertising

Feb 22nd '22

Comparing a competitor product or service is a common tactic used by advertisers. But there are several important things to keep in mind when taking this approach.


Below, are the top things that you need to be aware of if making comparative statements in advertising.


Comparative ads:


  • MUST only compare like with like: If products or services are being compared in an advertisement, the basis of the comparison needs to be clear and can’t give the advertiser an unfair or artificial advantage.
  • MUST not disparage competitors: Competitor businesses, products or services must be fairly and properly identified and must not be discredited or denigrated in any way.
  • MUST be factual and accurate: This includes making clear the basis of any claims if stating a product or service is superior, and ensuring advertisements do not look like another ad, as this is likely to mislead and cause confusion.


Advertisements can still be considered comparative advertising even if they don’t identify a specific competitor. For example, if a comparison is made against all competitors in an industry.


To find out more, please view the Advertising Standards Code.


Source: New Zealand Advertising Standards Authority (NZ ASA)


About the NZ ASA

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) is an organisation that investigates breaches of advertising standards in New Zealand. The ASA provides a free complaints process for consumers about the content and placement of advertisements. In assessing complaints, the ASA apply the ASA Advertising Codes.


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