NAD Finds P&G Can Support Certain Claims for Olay ‘Ultra Moisture Body Wash,’ But Recommends Company Discontinue ‘Lotion’ Claims

New York, NY – Aug. 27, 2014 – The National Advertising Division has determined that The Procter & Gamble Company can support claims that Olay Ultra Moisture Body Wash leaves more moisturizer on the skin than Dove Deep Moisture, a competing product made by Unilever United States, Inc.

But NAD recommended that P&G discontinue claims that its claims that “virtually all of the moisturizers in Dove Deep Moisture Body Wash just wash down the drain,” as well as claims that imply the P&G product functions as a lotion.

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

Claims at issue in NAD’s review were challenged by Unilever and included:

  • “Olay Ultra Moisture Body Wash cleanses and releases a moisturizing lotion… for more moisturizer on the skin and less down the drain than Dove Deep Moisture Body Wash.  The result, smoother skin with Olay.   Olay Ultra Moisture.  For better moisturization over time.”
  • Olay Ultra Moisture’s, “creamy lotion-like lather … actually carries moisturizers down onto the skin in the shower.  The moisturizers are designed to penetrate into the surface layers of the skin where they help maintain the skin’s precious natural moisturizing factors, for moisturized skin.”

Key to NAD’s decision was its examination of the parties’ scientific evidence. NAD has held that, in certain instances, objective instrumental analysis of skin moisturization can be meaningful on its own.

The advertiser provided objective measurements by corneometer, an instrument designed to measure moisture, as well as other research results. Following its review of the evidence, NAD determined that P&G could support the following claims:

  • Leaves a meaningful greater amount of moisturizer/moisture on the skin, post-shower, than Dove Deep Moisture
  • “Over time, Olay leaves skin … more moisturized than Dove”
  • Olay’s lather “actually carries moisturizers down onto the skin in the shower”
  • Olay’s moisturizers “are designed to penetrate into the surface layers of the skin where they help maintain the skin’s precious natural moisturizing factors, for moisturized skin.”

At the same time, NAD recommended that the advertiser discontinue its claims that “virtually all of the moisturizers in Dove Deep Moisture Body Wash just wash down the drain” (and related “down the drain claims”), as well as the claims by the shower confessional commercials’ spokespersons that the difference is “shocking” that they  “get a chill [and] want to run up and switch it to Olay Ultra Moisture.”

NAD concluded that the evidence did not support the advertiser’s superior smoothness claims and recommended that these claims be discontinued.

NAD further recommended that the advertiser discontinue its claims that Olay Ultra Moisture, provides a “lotion-like” lather, “releases a moisturizing lotion” and avoid the implication that its product acts as a functional equivalent of, or obviates the need for, a moisturizing lotion.

P&G, in its advertiser’s statement, said it appreciated NAD’s positive findings, but was disappointed “that the NAD did not agree with the support provided for the remaining claims.  P&G will take the NAD’s recommendations and guidance into account in future advertising versus the currently marketed competitive product.”