What is puffery in advertising? 9 facts that you DON’T know

When you are trying to sell a product or service, it is important that you know the difference between puffery and misleading advertising. What is puffery in advertising?

Puffery is an exaggerated claim made by businesses about their products. It’s not legally required for companies to be truthful in their advertisements, but if they make claims that are dishonest or misleading then they could face legal action from the FTC.

The best way to avoid this kind of trouble is to use common sense when reading through your marketing materials. Don’t believe everything you read! If something seems too good to be true, it probably is.

What is puffery in advertising?
What is puffery in advertising?

What is puffery in advertising

Puffery is what is known as “exaggerated advertising.” This means that what the ad campaign is saying about the product or service it is selling may be over-the-top, even to where what it says cannot reasonably be interpreted as true.

The intent of the advertiser in this case is to make what what they are selling seem as good as possible.

This type of advertising commonly takes the form of a tagline or slogan that paints the product or service being sold in a positive light, but this does not mean that any specific claims can be made about what what it does for its user.

The advertiser will instead use vague language that does not allow for what it is being advertised to be able to be measured or compared with what what competing products are on the market.

While puffery in advertising can help companies get more customers, it may actually backfire if what what they are selling is so far from what what other similar products are offering their users.

This would result in what what the company is selling coming under scrutiny, and that may result in a loss of profits.

Examples of puffery

The most common examples of what what counts as puffery include phrases such as “the best” or “excellent.” Other terms commonly used are “amazing,” “unbeatable,” and any other term that what what it is being advertised to be would not actually live up to if what what it has been described as were used to compare what what it does with any what what competing products on the market.

The World's Best Presentation on Puffery - ppt video online download

Pizza Hut v. Papa John’s

Discernment of puffery from false advertising is tricky work. A well-known example in this regard was seen when Pizza Hut sued Papa John’s based on the $300 million national marketing campaign for its slogan “Better Ingredients, Better Pizza”.

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Not only did they claim it constituted false advertising but also challenged all aspects of pizzamaking techniques as being represented inaccurately by competitors’ advertisements with similar messages; namely that their food quality would be superior to what consumers could expect if ordering any other establishment’s product (Pizza hut).

Papa John’s is a popular pizza chain that makes many bold claims on their advertising. For example, an ad campaign said they use “clear filtered water” to prepare the dough for your delicious pie while competitors like Pizza Hut just use whatever comes out of tap (even if it’s not clear). This was considered misleading by juries and ruled against them in court!

Papa John’s argued that their slogan, “Better Ingredients. Better Pizza,” was not actionable because it concerned individual taste and therefor could not be proven false advertising. The Fifth Circuit agreed with this reasoning but found the phrase to still embody “exaggerated advertising.”

The downsides of using puffery in advertising

While a company may be able to increase sales using puffery, it can also be a risk. People want to know exactly what they are getting for their money and will not be as willing to purchase something that is being sold as being perfect when it isn’t.

Puffery puts the advertiser at risk of having people think poorly of what what they are trying to sell.

People who use puffery in their advertising campaigns lose credibility with those who see it, and if the product or service what they are selling also falls short of what what was advertised people may feel as though they were ripped off and will be less likely to purchase anything from the company again.

This means that over time, if a company uses too much puffery in its advertising campaigns it may find itself going out of business.

Puffery is often criticized as being dishonest, and people who buy products or use services from companies using this type of marketing typically don’t have good things to say about them- even if they have been generally pleased with what what they have received.

How to avoid being accused of engaging in puffery in advertising

There is a fine line between marketing your product or service and engaging in puffery. The key to avoiding this pitfall is to keep your language as unbiased and factual as possible when promoting what what you are selling.

There’s nothing wrong with painting it in a positive light, but using specific facts about what what sets it apart from the competition is the best way to avoid accusations that what you are doing counts as puffery.

If you feel that your advertising campaign may be in danger of being labeled as puffery, pay attention to competitors’ marketing campaigns so you know exactly how your company’s ads measure up.

Any exaggerations should be removed from any future marketing efforts to increase your chances of not being accused of engaging in this practice.

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While puffery may be able to help a company’s sales, it can also come back to hurt them if large amounts are used and what they’re advertising comes under scrutiny from consumers who feel as though they were misled.

By using honest language that does not overstate what the product or service actually does, a company can help avoid this problem and protect its bottom line.

What are the benefits of using a company’s core values as its slogan or tagline for marketing purposes ?

A company’s core values are what what have been instilled in the business from its inception. It may be beneficial to include these values as messages for marketing purposes because it can help connect with customers on a deeper level.

Having clearly defined core values is what what helps create success, so companies’ values should not be included in their slogans or taglines when they are marketed.

When a company has a slogan in addition to a core value message it can be beneficial because it can help by acting as a call to action for the consumer, and the use of this slogan in advertisements allows customers to remember what the business is about. It can also function as an identifier for consumers who are familiar with the brand.

Puffery Today

Today, the legal definition of puffery varies by jurisdiction. For instance, in America it can be considered as marketing that doesn’t explicitly promise a specific result but instead relies on hyperbolic language for its claims such as “the best” or “definitely will fix your problem.”

The U.S Court Of Appeals Third Circuit defines this type if speech to exist when there is no deception present because consumers know what they are getting with their purchase even though these products don’t actually deliver all these benefits (exaggerated advertising).

Meanwhile The Ninth court describes blustering and boasting upon which no reasonable buyer should rely; thusly defining Puffsery specifically through opinion rather than fact based statements.

Puffery and Comparative Advertising

When advertising exaggerations and outlandish claims are obvious, puffery defenses can be more certain.

Such was the case in Martin v Living Essentials LLC where the Seventh Circuit affirmed a district court’s decision dismissing false advertisement charges brought against an individual world record holder for consecutive kicks on Hacky Sack who had disproved relativity theory among other accomplishments such as mastering origami while beating records of his own country’s game “kick-the-can.”

false-advertising | tarnmoor

The commercial depicted him doing all this within five hours only to find out that he might not have been playing correctly or taking enough breaks during gameplay because what really happened is nothing close (pun intended)to any one thing listed above by anyone else!

Puffery Differs from False Advertising

The FTC has a long and storied history of pursuing some the largest companies in America for false advertising.

The law specifically states that “a product’s claim must be unambiguous, truthful label,” which means it can’t mislead consumers into thinking something is better than what it really is by using puffery or positive words like “effective.”

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But this doesn’t mean all ads fall under these rules; only those intentionally designed to deceive people will get youflack if they’re found guilty! And there are stiff penalties – both civil lawsuits filed against them with large sums at stake (such as an apology letter) where damages could reach up tp $ deceptive acts such).

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has taken action against several companies that are using “crafted in America” labels on their products but produce them elsewhere.

In early 2020, for example, the FTC learned that Williams-Sonoma’s furniture and cookware were being touted as “American made” when they actually came from China with an order by this time period because consumers could easily mistake these ads without any solid proof to back up those claims.

The company had been ordered earlier summertime 2019 after also making false advertising statements about LGBTQ rights under pressure due specifically at political ideology extremes.”


What companies use shock advertising?

These are some Incredibly Daring Ads That Were Made To Shock You

  • WWF Brasil — “Tsunami” (Brazil, 2009) …
  • Caribu Bitter — “Canari” (Peru, 2009) …
  • Droit des Non Fumeurs — “Smoking is being a slave to tobacco” (France, 2010) …
  • Deutscher Tierschutz Bund e.V — “Pig” & “Mink” (Germany, 2010). …
  • Duncan Quinn – Unnamed (2008)

Why should I use an ad that contains puffery as opposed to one that doesn’t contain any at all

Puffery is a good way to help encourage sales of a product or service because it can make what what you are selling seem better than it actually is.

This is why advertising campaigns that use this type of promotional language tend to be more successful, but they can also backfire if consumers feel as though they were misled by an advertisement’s promises.

Puffery is a common tool used in advertising because it can be beneficial for attracting new customers and encouraging existing ones to purchase more of the company’s products or services.

While this type of advertising can increase sales, it can also lead to negative consequences if consumers don’t feel as though what what was promised during an ad campaign was accurate.


If you’ve ever wondered what puffery is in advertising, we hope this blog post has cleared up some confusion. Puffery is a statement that cannot be justified by the facts and usually exaggerates or distorts an argument to create hype for a product.

The FTC states puffing statements should identify their potential limitations so customers are not misled into believing something that isn’t true.

Sometimes these types of claims are used because they are fantastic sounding but have no other purpose than making people feel good about purchasing your products without regard to whether it will actually do anything beneficial for them.

For more information on how you can avoid using misleading marketing tactics while still getting attention for your company contact us today!

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