NAD Examines Claims for Kimberly-Clark’s ‘Huggies Little Snugglers’ Following Challenge by P&G

New York, NY – April 8,  2015 – The National Advertising Division has determined that Kimberly-Clark can support certain claims for the company’s “Huggies Little Snugglers” diapers, but  recommended the advertiser discontinue its “unbeatable skin care” claim.

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

P&G challenged advertising claims made in television advertising, at the K-C website and on product packaging. Challenged claims included:

  • “Huggies Little Snugglers diapers with a GentleAbsorb Liner draws more mess away than Pampers Swaddlers.”
  • “NEW! Unbeatable Skin Care.*” “*vs. other leading national brand.”
  • “Not only do they provide outstanding skincare for your newborn, but their new GentleAbsorb Liner creates a cushiony layer between your baby and the mess.”

In this case, the parties disagreed on the message conveyed by the advertiser’s claim that Huggies Little Snugglers “draws more mess away” than Pampers Swaddlers and by a video demonstration, which appeared in a commercial titled “The Second Hug.” The challenger contended that one reasonable takeaway was a message of superior urine absorption performance. The advertiser maintained that the commercial communicates to consumers solely K-C’s intended message that Huggies provide superior management of an infant’s stools.

Following its review of the evidence in the record, including the results of testing on both products with simulated stools for breast-fed and formula-fed infants, NAD determined that K-C provided a reasonable basis for the claim that Huggies Little Snugglers in sizes NB, 1, 2, and 3 draw away more loose or runny waste from breast-fed infants than Pampers Swaddlers.

However, NAD determined that the advertiser failed to provide a reasonable basis for one of the messages conveyed by the challenged commercial – that Huggies Little Snugglers have superior urine performance as compared to Pampers Swaddlers.  Further, NAD determined that the conditions depicted in the advertiser’s product demonstration are not consumer relevant.

NAD recommended K-C discontinue the broadcast advertising at issue. However, NAD noted that nothing in its decision precludes the advertiser from promoting that Huggies Little Snugglers “draws away more mess” than Pampers Swaddlers, provided that the advertiser clearly communicates to consumers that the claim is limited to diapers worn by breast-fed infants, in sizes NB, 1, 2, or 3.

NAD determined that the advertiser’s “unbeatable skin care” claim is an “unsurpassed” claim that conveyed the message that  the Huggies product provides the same or better skin care for babies than the Pampers brand.

NAD noted the absence of any objective data on many of the key performance attributes that consumers associate with “skin care” in the context of diaper products, and recommended that it be discontinued.

K-C, in its advertiser’s statement, said the company appreciated the “helpful guidance provided in this decision. K-C values the self-regulatory process, and looks forward to continued participation with NAD.”