BBB National Programs Archive

NAD Finds Tiffany’s Claims for Metal Alloy ‘Rubedo’ Supported

New York, NY – Aug. 16, 2012 – The National Advertising Division has determined that Tiffany & Co. can support claims that the company’s “Rubedo” alloy is a “new jeweler’s metal.”

NAD is an investigative unit of the advertising industry’s system of self-regulation and is administered by the Council of Better Business Bureaus. As part of its routine monitoring efforts, NAD requested substantiation for claims made for Rubedo products in print advertising and at the Tiffany website.

Express claims at issue in NAD’s inquiry included:

  • Tiffany & Co. has created a “new jeweler’s metal.”
  • Rubedo metal “marries the richness of gold, the brilliance of silver and the warmth of copper.”

NAD also examined the implied claims that:

  • Rubedo is a more valuable “metal” than its actual mixture of metallic components indicates.
  • Rubedo is a new metal which is equivalent to a new element in the periodic table.

A key question before NAD was whether Tiffany provided a reasonable basis for claiming that Rubedo is “new.”

After carefully reviewing the materials submitted by Tiffany, NAD determined that Tiffany could support the claim that Rubedo, an alloy that contains gold, silver, copper, zinc, germanium, and silicon, is a “new” alloy.

Further, NAD determined that consumers would not take away the implied message that Rubedo metal is a new element in the periodic table, but rather, would understand it to be a new metal alloy.

NAD was concerned that advertising for Rubedo extolling certain attributes of the metal such as the “richness” of gold and the “brilliance” of silver, without further explanation, might have been misleading as to the actual value of each of its metallic components.

However, the advertiser affirmed in writing that the claim that Rubedo metal “marries the richness of gold, the brilliance of silver and the warmth of copper” was permanently withdrawn from use prior to the date of NAD’s inquiry. Tiffany confirmed that it does not intend to use this claim in the future. NAD administratively closed the inquiry as it related to that claim.

Tiffany, in its advertiser’s statement, said the “welcomes the opportunity to support the NAD self-regulatory process and thanks NAD for its careful and thoughtful review of this matter.”