P&G, Playtex Participate In NAD Forum

New York, NY – July 31, 2007 – The National Advertising Division (NAD) of the Council of Better Business Bureaus  has recommended that Playtex Products Inc., modify or discontinue certain advertising claims for its Playtex Sport brand tampons. Advertising claims for Playtex Sport were challenged by Procter & Gamble, the maker of competing Tampax brand tampons.

NAD, the advertising industry’s self-regulatory forum, examined print, broadcast and Internet advertising claims that included:

  • “A High Performance Tampon with Sport Level Protection”
  • “Unique 360° Coverage” and a “One-of-a-kind backup layer”
  • “Won’t let you down”
  • “No-Slip Grip”
  • “4 out of 5 women who try it, want to buy it.*” and “9 out of 10 teens who tried it want to buy it.*”
  • “May the Best Protection Win”

*Based upon the results of a 2006 concept to product test, among those who were positive to the concept before trial.

NAD noted in its decision that it has had several occasions to review advertising for feminine hygiene products that touts various aspects of product design as well as attributes of performance, most notably the “protection” from leaks and recognizes that advertisers should be able to tout the particular benefits as well as the distinguishing features of their products to consumers.

The primary issue before NAD was whether the advertising for Playtex Sport tampons communicated superior performance claims and, if so, whether there was adequate substantiation for such claims. 

Following its review of the evidence, which included the results of a consumer survey undertaken by the challenger, NAD determined that the statement “May the best protection win” served as a claim of superior leak protection. Given that protection from leaks is a is a critical aspect of tampon performance, consumers might reasonably understand the phrase “best protection” to refer to the performance of the product.

Because the claim was not substantiated,  NAD recommended that the statement be discontinued and the television commercial modified or discontinued so as to avoid conveying a message of superior performance as against other tampon products.

NAD determined that the advertiser provided a reasonable basis for claiming that Sport Tampon is a “high performance tampon” and offers “Sport Level Protection” in a monadic context. NAD determined further that the advertiser provided a reasonable basis for the design claims that Sport Tampon offers “Unique 360° Coverage” and “A One-of-a-kind back-up layer.”

However, in order to avoid communicating a message that the new design features offer unique protection, NAD recommended that the advertiser discontinue use of the phrase that the back-up layer “Won’t Let you Down.” 

NAD further determined that the name of the product feature “No-Slip Grip” was not an absolute promise that slippage would never occur.  Finally,  NAD noted in its decision its appreciation that the advertisers has permanently discontinued the claims “Four out of five women who try it want to buy it” and “Nine out of ten teens who tried it want to buy it” – measures that were regarded as necessary and appropriate by NAD.

Playtex Products, in its advertiser’s statement, said the company disagrees with NAD’s conclusion that the tagline “May the Best Protection Win” in the context of this advertising “is other than a rallying cry in keeping with the sports motif of the advertising.”

Playtex noted, however, that it will consider use of the tagline in a different context in the future so as to avoid NAD’s concerns.”