New York, NY – January 11, 2024 – In a Fast-Track SWIFT challenge brought by Bissell Homecare, Inc., BBB National Programs’ National Advertising Division recommended that SharkNinja Operating LLC discontinue the claim that it is “America’s #1 Floorcare Brand” or modify the claim to state, as part of the main claim, that it is the #1 brand in dollar sales.
Fast-Track SWIFT is an expedited process designed for single-issue advertising cases brought to the National Advertising Division (NAD).
The challenged claim that Shark is “America’s #1 Floorcare Brand” appeared in an infomercial promoting the Shark CarpetXpert, an upright deep cleaner (UDC), and is accompanied by a disclosure reading “Source: The NPD Group/Retail Tracking Service, brand level U.S. dollar sales, 12 ME December 2022 (Floorcare is defined as Full Size Vacuums, Hand/Stick Vacuums, Specialty Cleaning, Non-Electric Carpet Sweepers).”
NAD considered whether Shark’s reliance on overall dollar sales versus overall unit sales was appropriate support for the challenged claim.
NAD noted the data shows that when consumers chose a floorcare product, more chose a Bissell over a Shark product (2022 year end) and Shark sold four million (or over 30%) fewer units than Bissell in the relevant category. NAD determined that in this context, with a wide disparity in unit sales in the floorcare category, consumers would reasonably expect that the “#1 brand” is the #1 brand in popularity even if there is another leader in dollar sales.
Therefore, NAD determined that the “America’s #1 Floorcare Brand” claim was not supported and recommended that it be discontinued or modified to state, as part of the main claim, that Shark is the #1 brand in dollar sales.
In its advertiser statement, Shark stated that it “will comply with NAD’s decision” although it “does not agree with NAD’s analysis and believes the existing, prominent disclosure language provides more than adequate explanation of Shark’s leading market share.”
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About BBB National Programs: BBB National Programs, a non-profit organization, is the home of U.S. independent industry self-regulation, currently operating more than a dozen globally recognized programs that have been helping enhance consumer trust in business for more than 50 years. These programs provide third-party accountability and dispute resolution services that address existing and emerging industry issues, create a fairer playing field for businesses, and a better experience for consumers. BBB National Programs continues to evolve its work and grow its impact by providing business guidance and fostering best practices in arenas such as advertising, child-and-teen-directed marketing, data privacy, dispute resolution, automobile warranty, technology, and emerging areas. To learn more, visit bbbprograms.org.
About the National Advertising Division: The National Advertising Division of BBB National Programs provides independent self-regulation and dispute resolution services, guiding the truthfulness of advertising across the U.S. The National Advertising Division reviews national advertising in all media and its decisions set consistent standards for advertising truth and accuracy, delivering meaningful protection to consumers and leveling the playing field for business.