Gillette skin moisturizing razor ads deemed ‘misleading’ following competitor challenge

By Andrew McDougall

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Shaving Moisturizer

The National Advertising Division has sided with a personal care rival of Gillette and called the description of one of its leading female razors ‘misleading’.

NAD recommended that P&G-owned brand discontinue the ‘MoistureRich’ description of its Venus ProSkin razors as it conveys the the misleading message that the product moisturizes whilst the consumer shaves.

According to the watchdog, the term should be removed from both the product name and the description, following a challenge made by Energizer Personal Care regarding the product packaging.

Challenge accepted

Energizer presented NAD with a consumer-perception to confirm the degree, if any, of consumer confusion by Gillette’s use of the term “MoistureRich” to describe its product.

The study indicated that a significant number of respondents – 45.3 percent – played back a moisturization message after reviewing the Venus ProSkin product packaging, which led to NAD determining that the claims were not supported by this evidence and that the term be removed from the product name and also discontinue use of the term where it appears in isolation.

NAD noted that nothing in its decision precludes the advertiser from referring in body copy to its “MoistureRich Gel Bars” (or “body butters”).

Difference of opinion

The regulatory body commented that it is “cognizant of the burden placed on an advertiser when a recommendation is made to modify or discontinue certain packaging claims, and does not take lightly any recommendation that a product name (or descriptor virtually incorporated into a product name) be changed.”

However Gillette, in its advertiser’s statement, said that it disagreed with NAD’s conclusions.

“Gillette has used the term ‘moisturerich’ to describe shaving aids included on various razors since 1994, and we are pleased that the NAD accepts its continued use in context.”

“However, we believe the context for the product in this case to be appropriate already,”​ before concluding that “as a strong supporter of the self-regulatory process, we will take the NAD’s considerations into account for future advertising.”

Condemned claims

Claims examined, and condemned include: “The only razor with MoistureRich shave gel bars, enhanced with a triple blend of body butters” ​and “MoistureRich shave gel bars enhanced with a triple blend of body butters that create a layer of protection for your skin with every close stroke.”

NAD also examined whether the advertising at issue presented implied claims that ProSkin provides a protective layer of moisture that hydrates the skin and protects it from drying out after shaving.

NAD noted in its decision that it is undisputed that the Venus ProSkin razor does not moisturize during or after one shaves but, rather, that gel bars on either side of the blades contain moisturizers to provide lubrication while shaving, and that the current description has led to consumer confusion.

Related topics Regulation & Safety

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