Digital Marketing

What Is Puffery & How It Affects Your Brand Reputation

As marketers, we are tasked with creating awareness, demand, and authority for the brands we represent. We want users to think we’re the best in the business.

Some common ways we can create awareness and brand authority include:

  • Promote positive brand perceptions.
  • Explain how the user will benefit from the product.
  • Show differentiation from competition.

However, there is a misconception in today’s world that effective marketing requires flatulence – or exaggerating claims to an extreme level to promote your brand.

Using sprays as a marketing tactic can make or break your brand.

On the other hand, blow molding helps in capturing the attention of the audience and can help in shaping the brand image.

On the other hand, bulge ads can have negative consequences on your brand image.

In this post, let’s take a closer look at bloat in advertising and how it can harm your brand and what causes it.

What is a sprayer?

While bloating is not new to the world, the definition of the term has changed over the centuries.

In today’s world, bloating is a statement that is used Exaggerate and/or overpromoting a product or service.

Bouffant is all around you whether you know it or not. Some common examples of bulge ads you may have heard:

  • The best product in the world.
  • The best in the business.
  • Better taste.
  • look better.

The above examples may seem tame to you.

Other bloated ads sometimes make completely unbelievable claims, such as claiming that their beer is as cold as the Rocky Mountains.

Cold as the Rocky Mountains? You heard that right. This is exactly what Coors Light claimed in their ads.

Image credit: Screenshot taken by the author from, July 2022

Since departing from its previous slogan of “the world’s most refreshing beer,” Coors Light has successfully marketed the Rocky Mountain temperature comparison to head off that it’s the most refreshing beer. They also went so far as to trademark the logo so that competitors could not use it.

Are bulge ads legal?

This is a common question that gets asked on Google.

While a spray is considered legal advertising, it becomes illegal when it crosses the line of false advertising.

However, the boundaries between bulge ads and false ads can sometimes be blurry. We know this because of real life marketing examples with false claims.

The main difference between bloated advertising and false advertising is that the Bavarian relies on it Personal Opinion-based data. objective Data is based on fact.

If an incorrect claim is based on a fact, then it becomes a false advertisement.

So, who decides what is considered illegal advertising?

Advertising laws are regulated by both the federal and state governments. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is the main group that oversees and enforces laws regarding illegal advertising. The FTC also:

  • Advertising regulations are proposed.
  • Enforces the truth in advertising laws that apply to all businesses.
  • Regulating certain sensitive industries, such as alcohol, tobacco and nutritional supplements.

At the state level, individual states can set rules and take action to enforce such rules, usually through the attorney general’s office.

the Lanham Act of 1946 It enforced that false advertising is illegal, as are trademark violations. While many companies have and continue to abide by this law, violations and lawsuits still occur to this date.

If your trademark makes a substantive claim, whether intentionally or not, you could face serious lawsuits and repercussions.

Examples of bloating

While bloating is still fairly common in ads, some brands have gone too far with their claims.

Take 5 hours of energy. The brand claimed that its energy drinks were “better than coffee” and that doctors actually recommended them.

The makers of 5-Hour Energy have been found guilty of violating consumer protection law and using advertising to mislead users. As a result, the brand had to pay $4.3 million in fines and fees.

Another brand image damaged by false advertising was L’Oréal. The brand claimed that its Lancôme Génifique and Youth Code products prevented skin aging by “boosting genes” in users. The company also used the phrase “clinically proven” behind its claims.

Now, if L’Oreal had scientific studies to back up its claims, that wouldn’t be a problem. However, the lawsuit concluded that L’Oréal has not conducted any scientific studies to support these products’ abilities.

Results? While no financial penalties were imposed, the Federal Trade Commission banned L’Oreal from using any Anti-aging claims Or using the phrase “clinically proven” without providing conclusive evidence to support it.

Why is puffery bad for your brand reputation?

Looking at the above examples, the most obvious reasons why bulge is bad for your brand include:

  • financial implications.
  • Damage to reputation.

If your brand can’t prove the outrageous claims, you could be subject to huge lawsuits. For any business big or small, this could mean the end of your brand.

From a personal standpoint, your brand reputation may suffer severely from swelling.

If consumers are let down by some claims of a product, chances are you’ve lost that trust in them. Do you think they are likely to recommend your product to a friend afterward?

Mostly not.

So even though you may have gotten an initial sale from a consumer with inflated claims, you may have damaged a long-term relationship with that customer.

You are likely to lose future clients due to negative word of mouth.

How to maintain puff

We know there is a fine line between bloated advertising and false advertising. We also know that there are financial and reputational implications from bouffant use.

Let’s recap the do’s and don’ts to avoid false advertisements for your brand.

  • Don’t leave out the facts. If you are making a product claim backed by facts, be sure to include them. This is a precautionary measure for your brand in case you have any legal issues that get in your way.
  • Don’t make exaggerated claims. Many brands are guilty of this, whether it’s innocent or intentional. Make valid and verifiable claims for your brand.
  • Don’t make false promises. This is the best way to lose a customer. As a brand, consumers are looking to you to help them solve a problem. If you fail to deliver on this promise, you are on your way to losing loyal customers.
  • Be honest about pricing. Another way to lose customers is by not being transparent about pricing. If you’re offering a trial where the user has to opt out, let them know.
  • Review industry and agency guidelines. Some industries are highly regulated, such as dietary supplements and alcohol. Always review the latest laws and guidelines for your industry.
  • Backup prompts. Again, the best way to protect your brand is with facts. Even if you have an outrageous claim, backing it up with facts will protect you from lawsuits and win you over in the eyes of the consumer.
  • Ensure that advertised products are available to users. There is nothing worse for a consumer when they see an advertised product but find it out of stock. Keep up to date on your inventory to ensure a good customer experience.

It is contained

While bulging is legal and can be powerful at times, it can also bring your brand down.

Not only is bloating a financial risk, but there are also reputational risks that can sometimes be even more damaging.

Use these examples above to remind yourself of what not to do in advertising, as well as do’s and don’ts to ensure you have a marketing strategy ahead.

More resources:

  • 12 of the best tools to monitor your online reputation
  • Top 10 advertising campaigns and why they work
  • Content Marketing: The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to What Works

Featured image: kentoh/Shutterstock

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