NEW YORK—The advertising industry's self-regulatory forum has recommended that Michelin North America Inc. change or cease certain advertising claims for its HydroEdge tire.
Michelin said it will appeal the recommendations.
Acting on a complaint from Bridgestone Americas Inc., the National Advertising Division (NAD) of the Council of Better Business Bureaus examined Michelin's ad claims to tire dealers about the HydroEdge.
One of the ad claims in question was the phrase, “More miles. More fuel efficiency. More than what you pay for.”
The NAD also scrutinized Michelin's claims that the HydroEdge:
- Offers “33,000 miles longer” tire life than other tires;
- Brakes “14 feet shorter” than the competition;
- Is “#1 in fuel efficiency”;
- Is “longer lasting (and) more fuel-efficient”; and
- Is “best in its class” for “safety, durability, fuel efficiency and utility.”
Although Michelin no longer distributes the brochures Bridgestone challenged, the tire maker said it will continue to make those claims for the HydroEdge, the NAD said.
The NAD urged Michelin to bring the end notes qualifying its claims into immediate proximity with the claims themselves.
“Unless the end notes were carefully read and understood, a dealer could take away inaccurate and unsupported messages,” the organization said.
The NAD also objected to charts in the brochures that made comparisons with “competition” and “other tires.” It recommended that Michelin avoid communicating comparisons with competing tires in future advertising.
It also recommended Michelin take steps to ensure that the basis of comparison for all advertising on the HydroEdge Web site is clear.
In a statement, Michelin said it would appeal the NAD decisions regarding print advertisements to the National Advertising Review Board.
However, it said it will modify the ads on the HydroEdge Web page as the NAD recommended.
“The NAD appropriately recognizes that the audience for the brochure consists of sophisticated tire professionals and not general consumers,” the tire maker said.
Bridgestone declined to comment on the ads.