BBB National Programs Archive

NAD Finds Samsung Can Support Color Volume Claim, but Recommends Disclosure; Recommends Company Discontinue ‘Infinite Array’ Claim

New York, NY – March 27, 2018 – The National Advertising Division has determined that Samsung Electronics America, Inc., can support advertising claims that the company’s televisions provide “100% color volume.” NAD also determined, however, that the claim in certain contexts could lead to consumer confusion and recommended that the advertiser modify the claim to disclose in a consumer-meaningful manner that the claim “100% color volume” references the color volume displayed by the content.

NAD further recommended that the advertiser discontinue claims that reference “infinite array” technology and noted that the advertiser voluntarily discontinued certain claims.

NAD is an investigative unit of the advertising industry’s system of self-regulation. It is administered by the Council of Better Business Bureaus. Samsung’s claims, made in print and online advertising for the company’s Quantum Dot-LED or QLED televisions, were challenged by LG Electronics USA, Inc., a maker of competing “organic light emitting diodes” or OLED televisions.

Express claims at issue included:

  • “Samsung QLED TVs have 100% color volume.”
  • Samsung’s QLED TVs include exclusive “Infinite Array” technology.
  • “All shades of color brought to life.”
  • “Color stays true from any perspective, so every seat is a great seat.”

NAD also considered whether the advertising implied that the picture quality of the QLED TV is superior to all other televisions on the market.

Samsung’s QLED televisions utilize a quantum dot technology, which are nanoparticles that emit their own colors when a light is shined on them.  The quantum dots are illuminated by an LED backlight and help to provide brighter, more precise color across a wider color gamut than a traditional LCD television.

LG manufactures televisions that utilize OLED that glow when an electric current is introduced. Unlike traditional LED/LCD technology, the OLED pixels are self-illuminating and do not rely on backlighting to generate an image. The challenger contended the absence of backlighting allows OLED pixels to achieve a true black, as well as more detailed control over adjacent pixels, which helps to produce superior picture quality.

The claims at issue in LG’s challenge relate to the QLED’s picture quality, lighting technology, and color performance capabilities. As always, when promoting the benefits of innovative technology, it is important that advertisers ensure that its product claims are truthful, accurate and not misleading.

The key issue before NAD was Samsung’s color volume message. Following its review of the advertiser’s testing, NAD found that the Samsung has a reasonable basis for its “100% color volume” claim. However, NAD found that the way the claim was used could lead to consumer confusion, since one reasonable interpretation of the claim is that Samsung’s QLED televisions can display all colors visible to the human eye. NAD recommended the advertiser modify the claim to disclose that “100% color volume” refers to the color volume displayed by the content.

NAD noted that different terminology is used in this product category: “array” describes “full array” LCD televisions, which are different from “edge-lit” LED design. Samsung’s QLED is an edge lit tv, but NAD found that the advertiser’s use of “infinite array” communicates a message that the advertiser’s LED lighting technology is similar to “full array.”

Given the potential for consumer confusion, NAD recommended the advertiser discontinue the claim “infinite array.”

NAD appreciated the advertiser’s voluntary permanent discontinuance of the claims: “All shades of color brought to life,” “Color stays true from any perspective, so every seat is a great seat,” as well as implied claims that the QLED television’s picture quality is superior to all other televisions on the market. In reliance on the advertiser’s representation that the claims have been permanently discontinued, NAD did not review the claims on their merits. The voluntarily discontinued claims will be treated, for compliance purposes, as though NAD recommended their discontinuance and the advertiser agreed to comply.

NAD determined that the advertiser provided a reasonable basis for the claim, “100% color volume” and recommended that the advertiser modify the claim to disclose in a consumer meaningful manner, using language that consumers can understand, that the claim “100% color volume” references the color volume displayed by the content.  Additionally, NAD recommended that the advertiser discontinue its use of the unqualified phrase “perfect color,” as it reinforces the unsupported message that the advertiser’s QLED TV is capable of displaying 100% of the visible color spectrum.

Samsung, in its advertiser’s statement, said the company “agrees to follow NAD’s recommendations,” including the recommendation to “disclose additional information to explain this level of color performance and its significance to consumers.”

Note: A recommendation by NAD to modify or discontinue a claim is not a finding of wrongdoing and an advertiser’s voluntary discontinuance or modification of claims should not be construed as an admission of impropriety. It is the policy of NAD not to endorse any company, product, or service. Decisions finding that advertising claims have been substantiated should not be construed as endorsements.