LG Clarifies NAD Decision On 3DTV Ads

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Englewood, Cliffs, N.J. - Commenting on its recent rebuke by the National Advertising Division (NAD) of the Council of Better Business Bureaus for a Cinema 3D campaign last year that slighted Sony and Samsung 3DTVs in a claimed consumer preference test, LG Electronics home entertainment senior VP Jay Vandenbree told dealers Friday that LG's independent test claims were accurate.

In his letter to dealers, Vandenbree took aim at the NAD's decision concerning Sony, since Sony was also rebuked by the NAD for allegedly contacting dealers prior to a formal announcement of the decision and using that decision for promotional purposes.

Sony denied using the NAD decision for promotional purposes, but acknowledged contacting dealers prior to the formal announcement since LG allegedly told the NAD its ad program had "run its course" and would not be resumed.

But, Sony said, the advertising remained on LG's website and other places, justifying its clarification notice.

In its decision, the NAD, which oversees the advertising industry's self-regulatory practices, said

LG's Cinema 3D

advertising claims were based on

"materially flawed"

consumer perception evidence.

In his letter Friday, Vandenbree pointed out that buried within the full report, "the NAD did not comment on the survey methodology in its Sony decision; but only that we should have tested more models if we wanted to make a broader claim. This decision from the NAD came in December ... hardly the time to test more 2011 models or debate when our campaign was nearing its end."

An NAD representative could not be reached upon repeated attempts to get a full text of the study.

Further, Vandenbree told dealers: "There are no legal issues as called out in the letter as the NAD is a self-governing group and not a legally binding or law making entity. I'd save legal advice for the experts and not take it from anyone else."

 Cinema 3D is the name LG uses for certain 3D-capable HD LCD TVs that are based on its film-patterned retarder passive-3D glasses technology. The company's ads made bold pronouncements that consumer tests found four out of five people preferred Cinema 3D TVs to the active-shutter 3D glasses-based LCD TVs marketed by Samsung and Sony for the overall 3D experience, brightness, color and picture quality, among other things.

Samsung has been quiet since the NAD decision was released.

In commenting on the action late last week, Samsung spokesman Ethan Rasiel said "We are pleased with NAD's careful review of the facts, and agree that its recommendations are appropriate. Under NAD rules, we may not comment further on the decision. For more specific information regarding the decision and NAD's reasoning, we refer you to the decision itself, which may be obtained from NAD."

In his letter, Vandenbree thanked customers for ultimately "voting with the wallets."

"LG Electronics USA grew more than any other tier 1 manufacturer this past year - both in overall market share, and critical focus areas of big screen and advanced technologies like 3D. We couldn't have done that without you, and we thank you for the support and partnership," he said.

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