Truth in Advertising: BP v. Royal Purple

By George Gill
The Lube Report

Royal Purple Ltd. was black and blue after BP Lubricants USA took it to task over advertising claims for its synthetic motor oil, finding a receptive audience in the advertising industry’s self-regulatory forum.

The National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus recommended Porter, Texas-based Royal Purple modify or discontinue numerous advertising claims for its synthetic motor oil, following a challenge by Wayne, N.J.-based BP Lubricants. The NAD examined comparative performance and superiority claims in print, broadcast and Internet advertising. In some of the advertising, Royal Purple compared its performance to Castrol, Shell, Amsoil and other motor oil brands.

NAD recommended that Royal Purple discontinue its use of consumer testimonials reporting specific performance attributes in the absence of reliable independent evidence showing performance capability.

“Anecdotal evidence based solely on the experiences of individual consumers is insufficient to support product efficacy claims, including claims related to horsepower, torque, fuel economy or engine heat,” the organization stated. “While the advertiser may quote from published articles if it provides clear and conspicuous attribution to the publisher, it may not rely on such articles to support efficacy claims for which it has no reliable independent validation.”

NAD recommended Royal Purple discontinue claims such as “Increases horsepower and torque by as much as 3 percent,” “Reduces Engine Wear by 80 percent,” “Superior Oxidation Stability” and “Provides Film Strength Up to 400 Percent.”

Full Article: Truth in Advertising: BP v. Royal Purple