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Advertiser: Mercedes Benz
Medium: Internet (Company Website)
ASAI Code 7th Edition: 2.4(c), 4.1, 4.4, 4.9
The advertisers’ website offered the following information and was accompanied by their logo:
The Best or Nothing”
The complainant considered the claim referenced by the advertisers to be a superlative claim and to be one which would require relevant substantiation.
The advertisers said that the words used ‘The Best or Nothing(1)’ had been the motto of the founder of the Daimler Company, Gottlieb Daimler, who produced the first Mercedes-Benz car in 1899. It reflected his values of aiming for perfection in everything he did. He had placed these words in his factory to inspire his workers to do everything to the best of their ability.
The advertisers said that ‘The best or nothing’ was the brand essence of Mercedes-Benz and was used as such in their global communications. They said it was also the motto that reflected the company’s commitment of ‘aiming for perfection’ in everything they did. From the very outset they had been committed to achieving the highest quality standards (“the best of the good”, “the best or nothing”), and this had remained a characteristic of the company to this day.
The advertisers said that the particular motto has been used since its inception by Mercedes-Benz to communicate to the world that aiming for perfection was the core to everything they did. It was not the case that they were claiming to be best manufacturer; rather they were simply reflecting the century-long attitude that had become their brand essence.
In conclusion the advertisers said that the only claim associated with their particular motto was a general claim in relation to the company’s quality philosophy and it had never been used outside of this context nor had it ever been used to claim that they ‘are the best”.
Complaint not upheld.
The Complaints Committee considered the details of the complaint and the advertisers’ response. They noted that the motto “The Best or Nothing” related to the standards which the company had set for their work force, that they should strive for excellence and did not consider it to be a superlative claim in relation to the car itself.
The Committee did not consider the advertisement to be in breach of the Code.
No further action was required in this case.