NAD Refers Ceres Turf, Inc. Advertising Claims to FTC After Advertiser Declines to Participate

For Immediate Release 

Contact: Abby Hills, Director of Communications, BBB National Programs

301.412.7769 / ahills@bbbnp.org 

 

New York, NY – June 17, 2020 – The National Advertising Division (NAD) has referred advertising claims made by Ceres Turf, Inc. to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for further review after the company declined to participate in a proceeding before NAD. 

Claims made by Ceres Turf for its MiniQuad turf aeration tines, used for the maintenance of golf course greens,  were challenged by Trigon Turf Sciences, LLC, manufacturer of competing aeration tines. Claims at issue included: 

Express claims: 

  • “First, we have increased the length of the nose which improves the MiniQuad’s longevity as compared to the Ninja.” 

  • “Ninja tines were made of a low carbon alloy steel. So we’ve upgraded to a 4140 steel alloy, which is the best available.” 

  • “The last change is that we shaved off over five dollars from the cost of a Ninja so that each MiniQuad sells for $14.75.” 

Implied claim: 

  • Ceres Turf claimed improvements are relative to the current Ninja product for sale in the United States. 

Although the advertiser initially agreed to participate in NAD’s inquiry, following a series of emails between NAD and the parties, the advertiser stated that it would no longer participate in the NAD dispute resolution process. Ceres Turf stated that while it respects NAD and its self-regulatory proceedings, it did not believe NAD’s decision would resolve the dispute with Trigon Turf Sciences. 

NAD believes that this dispute could have been settled through its well-established dispute resolution process and is disappointed that the advertiser declined to participate in the self-regulatory forum. In light of the advertiser’s election not to participate in this NAD inquiry, pursuant to its procedures NAD has referred the matter to the FTC for possible enforcement action. 

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About the National Advertising Division: The National Advertising Division (NAD), a division of BBB National Programs, provides independent self-regulation and dispute resolution services, guiding the truthfulness of advertising across the U.S. NAD reviews national advertising in all media and its decisions set consistent standards for advertising truth and accuracy, delivering meaningful protection to consumers and leveling the playing field for business.     

About BBB National Programs: BBB National Programs is where businesses turn to enhance consumer trust and consumers are heard. This independent, non-profit organization enhances trust, innovation, and competition in the marketplace through the development and delivery of cost-effective, third-party self-regulation, dispute resolution, and accountability programs. BBB National Programs’ 10 leading industry self-regulation and dispute resolution programs resolve business issues of national and international importance, and fosters industry best practices in truth-in-advertising, child-directed marketing, data privacy, and dispute resolution. To learn more about industry self-regulation, visit bbbprograms.org.   

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