Great State Wheat Flakes Can’t Be Beat
Steve reminded Betty that there is a distinction between deceptive advertising, which creates false impressions and misleads a consumer acting reasonably, and "trade puffing," which is exaggerated praise of the product (e.g., Almost Home cookies are the “moistest, chewiest, most perfectly baked cookies” ever;
“Nestle makes the very best chocolate”). Puffery is viewed as acceptable in a society of the superlative.
Consumers are assumed to see through the exaggeration or at least engage in a "willing suspension of disbelief." He explained to her that whereas deceptive advertising is illegal, the Federal Trade Commission
(FTC), which monitors national advertising for accuracy and fairness in claims, views puffery as legitimate. "What's more," Steve concluded somewhat sarcastically, "using your line of reasoning, Betty, we shouldn't at all advertise any parity products, since all brand advertising is designed to create a brand distinction in the buyer's mind. Advertising is necessary to differentiate yourself from the pack of imitators. And, it helps a small, underdog brand like Great State get a leg up on the big, deep-pocketed companies like our rivals. " Betty thought that, in fact, Steve's taunting comment might, indeed, have some merit. In fact, she feared that it might force Great State’s competitors to improve and differentiate