NAD Finds JJVC Can Support Certain Claims for Acuvue Oasys Contacts, Recommends Company Discontinue Certain Claims

New York, New York – May 9, 2011– The National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus has determined that Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc., can support certain superiority claims for the company’s Acuvue Oasys contact lenses. However, NAD – the advertising industry’s self-regulatory forum – recommended that the company discontinue certain claims.

The claims at issue were challenged by CIBA Vision Corporation, which argued that one print advertisement directed to eye-care professionals disparaged CIBA’s Air Optix Aqua 4-week replacement lenses, while a second advertisement – related to patient compliance with lens replacement instructions – conveyed a false message.

Claims at issue in JJVC’s “Long and Short” advertisement included:

  • “35% more Acuvue Oasys wearers rated overall comfort as ‘excellent’ or ‘very good’ after 1 week—a significant difference. On the other end of the spectrum, significantly more Air Optix Aqua wearers rated overall comfort as ‘fair or ‘poor.’”
  • “[l]onger wear means longer ‘stretching’ of lenses.”
  • “[w]hen it comes to contact lenses, the problem of ‘stretching’ (wearing a lens more than a week beyond the recommended replacement time) appears to be worse among patients wearing monthly lenses than in those with a 2-week replacement schedule. In fact, in a consumer survey, 5 times more 4-week wearers reported extreme stretching (waiting >8 weeks to replace lenses) compared to 2-week wearers.”

Claims at issue in the “Compliance” advertisement included

  • “[n]ew study shows: Different modalities, similar behavior…when it comes to replacement compliance, there is no single modality to which patients better adhere; replacement frequency was nearly identical for patients wearing 2-week or 1-month lenses.”

(Full text of decision available to media upon request.)

Following its review of the “Long and Short” advertisement, NAD determined that JJVC’s superiority claims were adequately supported by the evidence in the record. NAD noted that the advertiser’s comparative clinical study was well-conducted, and that the scope and nature of the advertising “properly matches the scope and nature of the evidence.”

However, NAD determined that the evidence in the record did not support the advertiser’s claim that “[l]onger wear means longer ‘stretching’ of lenses,” and “[w]hen it comes to contact lenses, the problem of ‘stretching’ (wearing a lens more than a week beyond the recommended replacement time) appears to be worse among patients wearing monthly lenses than in those with a 2-week replacement schedule.”

Further, NAD determined that the evidence in the record did not support the advertiser’s claim that “5 times more 4-week wearers reported extreme stretching (waiting >8 weeks to replace lenses) compared to 2-week wearers.” NAD recommended that the advertiser discontinue this claim.

With respect to the “Compliance” advertisement, NAD found that the evidence did not support JJVC’s claim, “[n]ew study shows: Different modalities, similar behavior…when it comes to replacement compliance, there is no single modality to which patients better adhere; replacement frequency was nearly identical for patients wearing 2-week or 1-month lenses.” NAD recommended that this claim be discontinued.

JJVC, in its advertiser’s statement, said that while it disagreed with certain of NAD’s findings, the company “will take NAD’s view into account in formulating future advertising. JJVC appreciates the opportunity to participate in the self regulatory process.”