What Is Comparative Advertising? Definition of Comparative Advertising, Comparative Advertising Meaning and Concept

Comparative advertising is one in which the advertiser tries to compare its offer with that of its competition, with the aim of highlighting the characteristics or qualities of its products compared to those of the rest.

This advertising can be done without commenting on the name of the rest of the brands , that is, comparing insightfully. However, there is a series of frameworks and rules in the world of advertising that advertisers must abide by. Among them there is one that prohibits comparative advertising if they do not support and confirm the essential and objectively demonstrable characteristics of the products or services offered by that brand.

In many countries comparative advertising is considered lawful. In Your Country, it is considered legal if it meets certain conditions, such as, for example, it cannot be misleading , nor create confusion between brands, it must not be denigrating, cause discredit or discomfort towards the competition.

This kind of advertising is common in countries like Great Britain or the United States, where it originated in the 1960s, with such famous examples as: McDonald's and Burger King or Coca Cola and Pepsi.

The objective of comparative advertising is to be able to place the name of a product or service in the mind of the consumer, establishing a prominent position of that brand over that of the rival. It can be very successful, but the guidelines must be followed to carry it out lawfully. In this way, it can be used effectively and positively for the company.

Requirements for comparative advertising

The comparison will be allowed if they meet the following legally protected requirements:

  • The goods or services compared must have the same purpose or satisfy the same needs.
  • The comparison will be made objectively between one or more essential, pertinent, verifiable and representative characteristics of the goods or services, among which the price may be included.
  • In the case of products covered by a designation of origin or geographical indication, specific designation or guaranteed traditional specialty, the comparison may only be made with other products of the same designation.
  • Goods or services may not be presented as imitations or replicas of others that have a protected trademark or trade name.
  • If the comparison refers to a special offer, its start date will be indicated, if it has not yet started, and its end date.
  • Undue advantage may not be taken of the reputation of a brand, trade name or other distinctive sign of any competitor, nor of the denominations of origin or geographical indications, specific denominations or guaranteed traditional specialties that protect competing products. Nor may an undue advantage be taken, where appropriate, from the organic production method of competing products.