Is there value in comparative advertising?

Comparative advertising compares the advertised brand with a named or unnamed competitor to make it look superior or more appealing. Most countries outside the United States have banned advertising that makes a comparison with a specific competitor (although advertisers can still reference undisclosed competitors). In the United States, advertising that mentions named competitors is tightly regulated and must be “substantiated, truthful and not misleading”.

Of the 57,000 ads in our Link™ copy testing database, 4 percent can be classified as comparative advertising. The United States, India and the Philippines have a higher proportion of comparative ads (7 percent) followed by Taiwan, Australia and Brazil (4 percent). Europe has tested the least number of comparative ads, which is probably an indication that these are less common in European advertising.