Comparative Advertising

The ad police in Canada is called ASC, short for Advertising Standards Canada. The ASC accepts and responds to consumer complaints about advertising, the ads are reviewed and if found in violation of the code, the advertisers are asked to remove their ad.

One such form of ASC violation is comparative advertisement, which occurs quite often in the advertising world. Comparative advertising occurs when an advert is found guilty of comparing its product or service in an unfair manner to another product or service in order to discredit or disparage that other product and win over customers.

This amusing ad is in violation of the comparative advertising clause because it’s promoting Pepsi while featuring Coca Cola with the main theme of the ad in favour of Pepsi while disparaging the Coca Cola drink. Now this ad might have been produced in the US, in which case different advertising rules would apply but this ad highlights the violation made against the ASC.


This next ad, once again is a BURGER KING advertisement featuring McDonalds. The sole purpose of the advertisement is to discredit McDonalds and endorse BURGER KING by making it appear as the most favoured fast food chain, even among competitors. The advertisement doesn’t provide any promotional information about itself, rather it focuses on dishonouring its competitor.

Comparative advertising is allowed, within limits and regulations in places like the UK, which is regulated by the EU, as well as the United States of America and Australia. The effectiveness of comparative advertising is not so clear. Do they allow for more than humour and entertainment? Can they actually succeed in swaying the general opinion in favour of the brand it’s endorsing?

These are questions I ask you, what are your thoughts on the matter?