NAD Finds P&G Can Support Certain Claims for ‘Luvs with Nightlock’ Diapers, but Recommends Advertiser Discontinue Weighted Ducky Demonstration

New York, NY – Oct. 10,  2014 – The National Advertising Division has determined that evidence offered by The Procter & Gamble Company was sufficient to support claims that the company’s Luvs with Nightlock diapers “locks away wetness better than Huggies, even overnight.”

However, NAD recommended that P&G discontinue use of a product demonstration that featured a rubber duck weighted with lead beads.

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

The claims at issue were challenged by Kimberly-Clark Global Sales LLC, the maker of Huggies brand diapers. In addition to the challenged express claim, NAD examined whether the advertising implied that:

  • Luvs with NightLock contains a unique nighttime feature that protects babies from having wet skin.
  • Luvs with NightLock outperforms Huggies Snug & Dry by a wide margin.
  • Luvs with NightLock provides better protection of babies’ skin from wetness and better sleep for babies.

By way of background, the advertiser said that it introduced Luvs with NightLock in September 2013, its latest upgrade to the Luvs brand.  According to the advertiser, in addition to utilizing P&G’s patented technology, Luvs with NightLock offer a larger absorbency area than any prior iteration of Luvs. This increased absorbency area allows Luvs with NightLock to absorb fluid faster than before and helps keep wetness away from babies’ skin for a longer period of time.

The challenger took issue with P&G’s claim that Luvs “locks away wetness better, even overnight” as compared to Huggies and with a side-by-side demonstration. The challenger also objected to the name “Luvs with NightLock,” including an accompanying lock and key logo, which it contended contributed to the misleading impression of absolute protection from wetness overnight.

Following its review of the scientific evidence provided by the parties, NAD determined that P&G provided a reasonable basis for its claim that Luvs “locks away wetness better than Huggies, even overnight” and found that P&G provided a reasonable basis for the message conveyed by the product name – Luvs with NightLock – in the context of the challenged advertising.

However, NAD recommended that P&G discontinue the use of a side-by-side product demonstration featured in an online video and in several television commercials.

In the video, blue liquid was poured on both diapers, and then blotter paper was placed on top of the wet spot, followed by a rubber ducky.  The rubber ducky was removed and the blotter papers were displayed to the camera, revealing a stain on the Huggies blotter that was about twice as large as the stain on the Luvs blotter. A super accompanying the demonstration states: “Size 4. Locks in wetness better than Huggies® Snug & Dry after a typical loading, three minute time lapse and 30-second application of .55 psi pressure.”  

NAD noted in its decision that “the use of a familiar object that consumers recognize as being very light (but which in fact had been artificially weighted with metal balls) implies that even a slight pressure will makes wetness seep out of Huggies’ core – a message which is unsupported by the results of P&G’s underlying … testing.”

“P&G, in its advertiser’s statement, said that although the company respectfully disagrees with NAD’s conclusion regarding its rubber ducky product demonstration, P&G will take NAD’s recommendations and guidance into account in future advertising. P&G is grateful for NAD’s careful attention and reasoned decision in this matter and continues to view the self-regulatory process as a valuable means of resolving advertising disputes.”