March 11, 2023
Net Impression is Critically Important in Advertising
Why Is net impression important?
Net impression is important because the FTC requires digital marketers to substantiate net impression before publishing the ad.
Net impression is what reasonable consumers infer or take away from the ad and related context. Net impression is not what the marketer intends the message to be.
What are the 6 elements of net impression?
These elements are what you need to evaluate to determine the overall net impression of your ad.
If you'd like a little more information about advertising claims (the types and what they are), plus how "net impression"
relates to advertising claims, visit The Ultimate Claims Substantiation Guide for Digital Marketers (+ Examples) .
Express statements (Express Claims)
Express statements include the literal text of the ad.
Example: “Save 40% on your heating bills next winter.”
- Implied suggestions (Implied Claims)
Implied suggestions may include text that conveys a specific implied message.
Example: “Live the Internet lifestyle.”
Implied suggestions may also include images and emojis that convey a specific implied message.
Example: an image of a huge pile of cash in an ad promoting a making money opportunity.
- Related Context
Related context includes all claims, express and implied, relating to an advertising claim.
Example: a Facebook ad with an express claim that has a link to a website which provides context in the form of additional related express statements and implied claims.
In this example, the context provided on the website should be evaluated together with and part of the Facebook ad claim.
- Name of Product
Product names may communicate ad claims.
- Qualification words or phrases
Words and phrases may communicate qualifications regarding the scope of an ad claim.
Express Claim Example: “Lower your cholesterol.”
Qualification words or phrases: “can help” and “as part of a heart healthy diet.”
- Disclosures/Disclaimers for “triggering claims”
Disclosures or disclaimers may be used, not to contradict an ad claim, but to supplement or explain the claim for purposes of avoiding material misrepresentations to consumers.
A “triggering term” is a word or phrase that prompts regulatory disclosures in an ad claim.
Example: “no annual fee” requires an explanation of the credit costs and related payment terms associated with the ad claim.
Net impression may include much more than obvious express and implied claims.
Net impression may also include: context, product names, qualifications, disclosures, and disclaimers.
All of the 6 elements of net impression for an ad are required to be evaluated for purposes of its net impression.