BBB National Programs Archive
NAD Recommends Springfree Discontinue Certain Claims for its Trampolines
New York, NY – Sept. 15, 2016 – The National Advertising Division has recommended that Springfree Trampoline, Inc., discontinue challenged superiority claims, as well as claims that disparaged traditional trampolines.
NAD is an investigative unit of the advertising industry’s system of self-regulation. It is administered by the Council of Better Business Bureaus.
Claims made by Springfree were challenged by Vuly Trampolines Pty. Ltd., maker of competing trampolines.
Claims at issue included:
- “The World’s Safest Trampoline”
- “Only Springfree eliminates 90% of all product related trampoline injuries.”
- “Learn from an independent expert why Springfree is the safest choice.”
- “Springfree Trampoline’s SoftEdge mat is 30 times more shock absorbent than pads found on traditional trampolines.”
- “Traditional trampolines require safety pads to protect the jumper from falling on the steel frame, falling through or getting caught in the springs. However, safety tests show that these pads do not absorb enough impact to sufficiently protect jumpers from contact with the springs and frame.”
Both parties to this case manufacture trampolines primarily for residential backyard use and are part of the high end of the trampoline market, offering innovative and revolutionary trampoline designs, including soft-edge trampolines.
NAD recognizes that these non-traditional trampolines, without a hard frame and steel springs, provide improved safety features and are designed to prevent or minimize injuries. NAD noted in its decision that it appreciates Springfree’s commitment to safety innovation and recognizes that Springfree has extensive experience in the trampoline industry.
Following its review of the evidence in the record, NAD determined that the advertiser’s evidence was insufficient to support its disparaging claims about traditional trampolines and recommended that they be discontinued.
NAD further determined that the advertiser’s evidence was insufficient to support its comparative superior safety and performance claims and recommended that it discontinue claims that the Springfree trampoline is “The World’s Safest Trampoline” or “the safest choice,” that the trampoline’s design “eliminates 90% of all product related trampoline injuries,” and that its mat is “30 times more shock-absorbent than pads found on traditional trampolines.”
However, NAD recognized that the Springfree design offers real and meaningful benefits to consumers and noted that the advertiser is free to tout the safety benefits of its revolutionary trampoline design – including that the soft-edge design creates a very low risk of fatal head injury – so long as the claims are truthful, accurate and not misleading.
Springfree, in its advertiser’s statement, said that while it disagreed with NAD’s decision, nevertheless, “[a]s a strong supporter of the self-regulatory process, [it] will reflect NAD’s recommendations in its advertising.”
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.