L’Oréal challenge lands P&G in hot water over ad claims

By Andrew MCDOUGALL contact

- Last updated on GMT

The product at the center of it all
The product at the center of it all

Related tags: Olay pro-x

Procter and Gamble’s Olay brand has been cautioned over claims made in its advertising after L’Oréal USA complained to the National Advertising Division.

The self-regulatory advertising body has recommended that the Ohio-based firm discontinue certain claims made for its Olay Pro-X Advanced Cleansing System that stated it is more effective than the Clarisonic Skin Cleansing System, a more expensive L’Oreal product.

NAD comments that much of the disagreement between the parties centers on the question of whether their respective products are ‘cleansing systems’ – including a brush and facial cleanser – or whether they are cleansing brushes that come with a sample facial cleanser in the package.

Trading blows

P&G argues that the products are ‘systems’ and based its parity claims on testing that used each brush with its associated cleanser.

However, L’Oréal counters that the products are ‘brushes’ that could be used with most cleansers, and that testing the brushes with different cleansers amounts to an apples-to-oranges comparison.

NAD says that neither party provided consumer-perception evidence as to the reasonable messages conveyed by the challenged advertisements.

Therefore, following its review of the evidence, the U.S. watchdog concludes that the advertising claims at issue conveyed the unsupported message that the parties’ respective brushes performed equally effectively.

Discontinue claims

The recommendation was made that P&G’s claims - that its Olay Pro-X cleanses as effectively as a $200 Clarisonic System - be discontinued.

Further, NAD recommended that the advertiser discontinue its more general ‘as effective as’ claims, as well as its claim that its Olay Pro-X brush is ‘6X better than basic cleansing.’

In response, P&G says it believes it is “committed to communicating the value and efficacy that the Pro-X Advanced Cleaning System brings to the consumer and will be taking NAD’s comments into account for future advertising.”

Related topics: Regulation & Safety

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