*An earlier version of this post included an embedded video of the commercial but not a link for email users. Our apologies.
Consumer products companies are constantly working to improve their products and often they want to communicate those improvements to consumers. That’s a good thing and helps spur companies to innovate and improve their products. But the FTC has brought actions against companies that have touted their products as “new” for too long with some “grace” allowed for time products may have spent in test markets. The networks have similar standards; ABC, for example, permits such claims for up to a year after a product has achieved substantial distribution. NAD has also cautioned companies against making “improvement” claims that do not provide meaningful benefits and or against products that are no longer available.
Of course, older doesn’t always mean worse, as Coke was reminded when it introduced “New Coke;” as we constantly remind our kids and as a luxury brand auto maker reminds us in this commercial pitting Old Spock against New Spock.