P&G ad criticized for slight against Unilever product

By Andrew MCDOUGALL contact

- Last updated on GMT

P&G ad criticized for slight against Unilever product

Related tags: Brand

Procter & Gamble’s Olay Sensitive Body Wash has been recommended to drop print and online ad claims that Dove Sensitive Skin Body Wash is ‘harsh’ after brand owner Unilever complained to the National Advertising Division.

NAD recommends that P&G modify claims that the competing product can dry one’s skin over time, stating that ​[t]he fact that other body washes are less mild … does not mean they are ‘harsh,’ as that term will reasonably be understood by consumers.”

The statements at issue in the advertising were:

  • “Unlike Dove Sensitive Skin Body Wash, which actually dries out your skin over time, new Olay Sensitive Body Wash gives your skin the moisture it deserves.  So say goodbye to harsher body wash and hello to gentler, moisturizing Olay Sensitive Body Wash.”
  • “Go from ehhh to ahhh with new Olay Sensitive Body Wash…Dove Sensitive Skin Body Wash dries out skin over time.”

NAD also considered whether the claims at issue implied that Dove Sensitive Skin users prefer Olay Sensitive and are switching because they feel the Dove product is drying their skin, and is harsh.

Evidence

In support of the challenged claims that Dove Sensitive Skin Body Wash dries out one’s skin over time, P&G submitted its independent ‘leg controlled application test’  (LCAT) of subjects with dry skin.

During the 12-day test phase, Dove Sensitive Skin Body Wash and Olay Sensitive were tested against a water control and corneometer readings were taken at certain time points.

The results indicated that Dove Sensitive Skin was directionally more drying than water at most of the reported time points and statistically significantly more drying than water only at the last time point of the study.

Following its review of the evidence in the record, NAD recommended that the advertiser discontinue the claim “So say goodbye to harsher body wash and hello to gentler, moisturizing Olay Sensitive Body Wash”​  and avoid conveying the unsupported message that Dove Sensitive Skin Body Wash is “harsh.”​ 

NAD further recommended that the advertiser modify its claim that “Dove Sensitive Skin Body Wash dries out your skin over time” ​to more accurately reflect the LCAT results.

Related topics: Regulation & Safety

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