NAD calls upon FTC after Energizer fails to abide by advertising requests

By Andrew McDougall

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Federal trade commission

NAD calls upon FTC after Energizer fails to abide by advertising requests
The National Advertising Division has referred advertising claims made by Energizer Personal Care to the Federal Trade Commission following a second compliance review of advertising claims made for its Schick Hydro Razor.

Originally, men’s grooming competitor Gillette had challenged the performance claims, implied claims and superiority claims made in commercials for Energizer’s razor.

Not learning the lesson

Having been told once to discontinue claims, NAD said it was disappointed that the same claims were still being made in other commercials.

NAD, in its decision, said it was “extremely disappointed that Schick would run a new commercial which clearly does not comply with​ [our] decision.”

“Accordingly, since Schick has not made a bona fide attempt to comply with NAD’s recommendations, NAD concluded that the self-regulatory process has been exhausted and has no choice but to refer the matter to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for possible enforcement action … .”

Previous run-in

The complaints were over Energizer using hydration claims about the razor and gel reservoir on the product, as well as the line the “best shave for your skin.”

In its first compliance proceeding, NAD with scenarios in adverts which included imagery of “water burst” or “drenching” suggested the product continued to work outside of the context of shaving and recommended Energizer discontinue this.

NAD concluded that commercials featuring “water burst” imagery – apart from any portrayal of a razor or bathroom setting – conveyed the message that the product would continue to hydrate the user’s skin even after shaving.

Effort not present

This time round, NAD reviewed the ad for the Hydro Power Select razor and came to the same conclusion noting that Schick “had not made a bona fide good faith effort to bring its advertising into compliance with NAD’s recommendations.”

Energizer argued that it had commissioned a consumer-perception study that indicated the advertising did not convey a post-shave hydration message.

However, NAD noted in its decision that, according to its procedures, a case cannot be reopened unless there are extraordinary circumstances.  “The production of new evidence long after a decision has been rendered clearly does not constitute extraordinary circumstances,”​ the advertising regulation firm stated.

NAD is an investigative unit of the advertising industry’s system of self-regulation and administered by the Council of Better Business Bureaus.

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