Care is needed where advertisers wish to use the word “best” to describe their products and services. The phrase “best” may only be used in clear puffery, and not on the basis of selective comparisons.
Radiocentre approaches use of the word “best” from the point of view of the listener, i.e. what is the listener likely to understand from use of the word in the context of the advertisement?
If it is unlikely to mean anything specific to listeners or can reasonably be taken to represent puffery, it is generally acceptable.
If, however, “best” implies any sort of factual claim, substantiation is needed against measurable criteria, which should be indicated in the advertisement, e.g. “with our unique 24-hour call-out, we offer the best service in the area”.
Substantiation for objective uses of “best” is difficult to provide and generally we advise that the word is replaced with other adjectives such as “excellent” or “superb”.
Repetition of the word “best” or jingles which include the word “best” repeatedly are likely to be perceived as a factual claim and, without satisfactory substantiation, will not be accepted.