BBB National Programs Archive
NAD Finds Sumo Logic Took Necessary Action in Discontinuing Comparative Claims Against Splunk
New York, NY – Nov. 13, 2012 – The National Advertising Division has determined that Sumo Logic took necessary action in discontinuing advertising claims challenged by Splunk, Inc., a maker of software for log management and analytic systems.
NAD is an investigative unit of the advertising industry’s system of self-regulation. It is administered by the Council of Better Business Bureaus.
Splunk had challenged express and implied advertising claims made by Sumo Logic in Internet advertising, including paid search advertising on Google.
Splunk contended that Sumo Logic’s paid search advertisements were false and unsupported. The advertisements claimed that Sumo Logic has “Better Log Management,” that Splunk comes with “hidden on-premise costs,” and that Sumo Logic’s service could deploy in 15 minutes, whereas Splunk could not.
In response to NAD’s inquiry, Sumo Logic said it had permanently discontinued the advertising claims challenged by Splunk and elected not to respond to the merits.
NAD, in its decision, noted that Splunk and Sumo Logic operate “in a highly competitive and rapidly changing field – the market to help companies harness and analyze ‘big data’ using information collected from consumers’ cellphones, computers, and electronic devices.”
NAD has consistently held that comparative superiority claims must be supported by reliable data against all, or a significant portion of, the market. Further, in industries where innovations and changes are constant, advertisers bear the burden of regularly monitoring and re-examining their advertising claims to make certain that the underlying data upon which they are based is current.
NAD said that it “appreciated the advertiser’s undertaking to voluntarily discontinue all of the challenged claims, an action NAD deemed appropriate and necessary given the absence of supporting evidence in the record.”
In reliance on the advertiser’s written assurance that all of the challenged claims have been permanently discontinued, NAD determined that the matter had been resolved to its satisfaction.
Sumo Logic, in its advertiser’s statement, said that although it “believes it has the capability to support the challenged claims, Sumo Logic voluntarily discontinued the relevant claims for business reasons. As a result, Sumo Logic accepts NAD’s decision.”