NEW YORK (Feb. 1, 2010)—Continental Tire North America Inc. should modify its dealer-directed advertising for its Conti-brand “ExtremeContact” tires to avoid inaccurate or misleading claims about the tires' performance compared with Michelin tires, the National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus has recommended.
Michelin North America Inc. filed a complaint with the NAD, claiming that the Conti ad's tag line, “Performance…Better Than Michelin,” implied that Conti's product line always offers superior performance compared with the Michelin product line. Conti said it had discontinued the ads in question, but the NAD went ahead with its review to offer guidance for future advertising, the division said in a press release.
Although Conti did substantiate specific claims of superior performance against specific Michelin tire models, the ads as a whole were misleading, the NAD ruled.
“Where an advertisement makes general brand references that are not limited to the specific product depicted, it is likely to convey the message that the benefits or attributes promoted by the advertisement extend to the entire product line,” it said.
In the press release, the NAD said Conti promised to implement the division's recommendations in future advertising. Neither Conti nor Michelin officials could immediately be reached for comment.