NAD Finds Lowe’s Took Necessary Action in Discontinuing ‘10% Off’ Ads Challenged by Home Depot

New York, NY – Dec. 5, 2012 – The National Advertising Division has determined that Lowe’s Companies, Inc., acted properly in discontinuing certain pricing claims that were challenged before NAD by Home Depot USA, Inc.

NAD is an investigative unit of the advertising industry’s self-regulatory system and is administered by the Council of Better Business Bureaus.

In this case, NAD reviewed the express claims “10% Off Major Appliances … Offer ends [Date, e.g., 7/9/2012].”

NAD further considered whether the advertising at issue implied that Lowe’s “10% Off” pricing on major appliances was a legitimate discount off of the bona fide regular price for Lowe’s major appliances
or that consumers who failed to purchase appliance by the stated date would miss out on the advertised discount.

Home Depot maintained that the advertiser promoted an indefinite “10% Off” offer on its in-stock and Special Order major appliances, while representing to consumers that the offer was available for only a limited period of time. The challenger argued that the claims misled consumers and damaged the goodwill of competing retailers by making it appear that the advertiser provided deeper discounts off the bona fide regular price for appliances.

In response to NAD’s inquiry, Lowe’s stated that it has ended the promotion and related advertising, action that NAD found to be necessary and appropriate.

NAD noted in its decision that the challenged advertisements each referenced an offer end date that was then modified in subsequent advertising to a later date after the stated sale period ended. The sale was extended continually throughout at least July and August 2012.

NAD said in its decision that it appreciated the advertiser’s voluntary discontinuance of the challenged advertising claims and recommended that future sales promotions observe stated time limited or end dates.

Lowe’s, in its advertiser’s statement, said the company “ takes to heart NAD’s recommendation that “future sales promotions observe stated time limited or end dates.”