Twilio advertises that its customer data platform is the “#1 CDP” and discloses that the claim is based on 2020 market share, as measured by the International Data Corporation. Adobe challenged the claim, arguing, in part, that the 2020 IDC Report doesn’t reflect the current landscape and, even if it did, that Twilio’s disclosures were insufficient. NAD’s analysis includes tips for anyone looking to make #1 claims.

When a company makes a #1 (or similar) claim, it’s important to have current and accurate support. Adobe took issue with the 2020 IDC Report because it doesn’t include major competitors that were just entering the market at the time. Indeed, the IDC noted that it expected “significant change in the structure of the CDP market,” now that competitors like Adobe were entering the market.

Although NAD acknowledged that the market may have changed, it was persuaded by Twilio’s argument that the 2020 IDC Report is the most recent annual study by IDC on the entire CDP market. Accordingly, NAD determined that the claim was substantiated, as long as Twilio clearly disclosed that it was based on a 2020 study. (Click here for a case in which NAD determined that a #1 claim could no longer be substantiated when newer data contradicted it.)

The next question is whether the basis of the claim was clearly disclosed. Twilio didn’t fare as well on that issue. For example, the claim “Twilio #1 Customer Data Platforms” appeared on the advertiser’s website, with a disclosure stating, “IDC report on 2020 market share rankings for Customer Data Platforms is now available.” NAD thought that was potentially confusing because the statement about the report being available doesn’t clearly communicate that the claim is based on that report.

It’s worth highlighting that Adobe also challenged the lack of disclosure on Google search results. Many advertisers assume that because space is limited on those results, disclosures aren’t necessary, but that’s not the case. Here, NAD recommended that Twilio work with Google to modify search results to make clear that its “#1 CDP claim is for 2020 market share as determined by the 2020 IDC Report.” Twilio agreed to make those changes.

Number 1 (and similar) claims can attract favorable attention from potential customers, but they usually also draw scrutiny from competitors, especially those who are close in market share. Make sure you scrutinize them first.