NAD Recommends Nectar Sleep Discontinue “Limited Offer” Claim Following Challenge by Tuft & Needle

New York, NY – July 15, 2019 – The National Advertising Division has recommended that Nectar Sleep LLC discontinue challenged advertising claims for the company’s Nectar Mattress.  The truth and accuracy of the advertiser’s claims, in retail, online, and social media advertising, was brought to the attention of NAD by Tuft & Needle, LLC, maker of competing mattresses.

NAD is an investigative unit of the advertising industry’s system of self-regulation and is a division of the BBB NP’s self-regulatory and dispute resolution programs.

The claims at issue included:

Express claim

  • “LIMITED OFFER: $125 Off + 2 Free Pillows.”

Implied claims

  • The Nectar mattress was previously sold at a higher price.
  • The Nectar pillows are available for purchase.

During the pendency of the challenge, Nectar represented in writing that it had elected to permanently discontinue the claim at issue.  However, subsequent to this representation, Nectar began dissemination of a new version of the “$125 Off + 2 Free Pillows” claim, tied to the upcoming Independence Day holiday.  When given multiple opportunities and ample time to discontinue the claim, Nectar failed to follow through on its representation.  NAD therefore had no choice but to reach the merits of the case. 

The challenger contended that Nectar’s claim, “LIMITED OFFER: $125 Off + 2 Free Pillows,” is misleading because it offers a price comparison to a fictitious former price, namely there is no indication that the Nectar mattress is ever, or has ever, been sold at a higher price.  Whereas, Nectar maintained that it did offer its mattresses at the regular price for a substantial period of time, achieving a substantial amount of sales at that price. 

Further, the challenger argued that Nectar Sleep’s pillows are never actually offered for sale by Nectar, but are always shown as “out-of-stock” at the point of purchase and, therefore, they are misleadingly offered as “free.” However, Nectar stated that although the pillows were out of stock for a time, Nectar made pillow sales during every month since the company began offering the pillows for purchase during the second half of 2017.

NAD recognizes that aggressive price competition serves to benefit consumers, but such benefits are only realized when savings claims are accurate and enable consumers to assess the value of a bargain or sale.  NAD noted that it is incumbent on advertisers not only to clearly communicate the price of the sale item, but to ensure that the savings promised is real and not based on a dramatic markdown of a fictitious price.

NAD recommended that the advertiser discontinue the claim “LIMITED OFFER: $125 Off + 2 Free Pillows” because, based on the evidence in the record, NAD determined that the claim was misleading to consumers.  Nectar did not provide NAD with any evidence about its previous advertising for its mattresses or pillows.  NAD noted that, despite the advertiser’s representations to the contrary, it does not appear that the Nectar mattresses were ever offered for sale at the “regular” price prominently displayed on its website or in its retail advertising.  Similarly, NAD was presented with no evidence that Nectar’s offer for “2 Free Pillows” had been made available to consumers for a limited amount of time. In its advertiser’s statement, Nectar stated that it “will comply with NAD’s recommendations” and that it “has already taken substantial steps to discontinue the challenged advertisements and remove them from the various media in which they appear.”