Designing consumer perception surveys in false advertising cases:
Common issues and considerations

Consumer perception surveys are frequently offered in false advertising disputes, and the ability to evaluate survey evidence is an invaluable skill for case participants. Attorneys who are able to identify methodological strengths and weaknesses in a survey can communicate more effectively with clients and better collaborate with survey experts to create reliable surveys and evalute survey evidence offered by an opponent.

Survey expert Caroline Otis, Ph.D. and advertising attorney (and frequent NAD participant) Terri Seligman, J.D., provide their perspectives on key methodological issues for consumer perception surveys designed to measure likelihood of deception.

These survey experts will cover design issues and considerations related to the survey stimulus, control, questions, and analysis such as:

  • How should a survey present a website stimulus?
  • Why is a control group necessary?
  • How do I identify a leading question?
  • What is net deception and how is it calculated?

Caroline Otis, Ph.D.

Caroline Otis is an associate principal in the Litigation Support practice area of Applied Marketing Science (AMS) and an expert on consumer survey research in the advertising and trademark area. Caroline has designed and conducted consumer perception surveys for false advertising matters at both the National Advertising Division (NAD) and in federal court, and is experienced in collecting and analyzing data for the purposes of claim substantiation, including large-scale consumer preference studies. In addition to research in the advertising area, Caroline manages survey research for trademark and trade dress confusion, secondary meaning, dilution and class certification. Caroline holds a B.A. from Williams College and a Ph.D. in psychology from the Graduate Center at the City University of New York.

Terri Seligman, J.D.

Terri Seligman is a partner and the co-chair of the Advertising, Marketing & Public Relations Group at Frankfurt Kurnit, a New York and Los Angeles law firm. Ms. Seligman's practice covers all advertising and marketing issues, ranging from review of advertising claims and substantiation to the application of marketing and intellectual property laws and laws governing rights of publicity and privacy. She regularly represents companies in disputes and regulatory matters before the National Advertising Division (NAD), broadcast networks, and state and local enforcement agencies. She is Vice-Chair of the Advertising Disputes and Litigation Committee of the Antitrust Section of the American Bar Association (ABA) and has been a featured speaker at PMA, NAD, WOMMA, ANA, and other national conferences. Ms. Seligman holds a B.A. from Wesleyan University and a J.D. from New York University School of Law.

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