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Competitor gripe sees Gillette in dock over misleading moisturizing razor claims

By Andrew MCDOUGALL , 26-Feb-2013
Last updated on 26-Feb-2013 at 17:08 GMT

The product in question
The product in question

Gillette has been called to question by its fierce rival Energizer, over advertising claims made about its Venus & Olay brand razors and certain moisturizing messages conveyed.

The National Advertising Division was called upon and recommended that Gillette modify or discontinue advertising claims that suggest shaving with the company’s Venus & Olay women’s razors provide a benefit that goes beyond lubrication while shaving.

The claims in question included the statements: “Helps replenish skin’s moisture,” and “helps lock in moisture,” which were disclaimed by the statement, “for less dryness vs. Venus Breeze over time.”

Evidence

Gillette’s Venus & Olay product is the first of its products to combine shave gel bars with five blades; and its primary support for its claim was a study that compared the performance of its razor with its earlier model Venus Breeze razor.

This testing was judged to provide reasonable basis for its intended message that the new razor was less drying than the Venus Breeze over time; however NAD found the disclaiming language was insufficient because it was not clear or in close proximity to the claims at issue.

Furthermore, the advertising watchdog was not persuaded that the advertising at issue conveyed only one message.

It found that the terms “moisture” and “skin conditioners”, if used only in reference to the gel bars on the razor, described for consumers a “2-in-1” wet shaving razor that lubricates the skin during shaving, eliminating the need for shave gel or cream.

Then taking into consideration the claims “helps replenish skin’s moisture” and “helps lock in skin’s moisture”, NAD said the advertising conveyed the unsupported message that the gel bars provide a moisturizing benefit.

Recommendation

Therefore, the recommendation was that Gillette only portray the substantiated message “less dryness over time versus Venus Breeze” in future advertising.

In response, the Procter and Gamble firm said it disagreed with certain of NAD’s findings but would, take NAD’s recommendations into account in future advertising.

Finally, NAD found that the use of the Olay brand by the advertiser was not misleading and did not, in and of itself, convey a moisturization message.

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