NAD Finds P&G Can Support ‘Toughest Messes’ Claim for Cascade Platinum, but Recommends Company Discontinue Side-by-Side Demonstration

New York, NY – March 24,  2015 – The National Advertising Division has determined that The Procter & Gamble Company can support the claim that Cascade Platinum dishwasher liquid “powers through your toughest messes.” NAD recommended, however, that P&G discontinue a side-by-side product demonstration.

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

In this case, Reckitt Benckiser LLC, the maker of Finish All-In-One Powerball, a competing dishwasher detergent, challenged broadcast advertising that featured the express claim:

  • Cascade Platinum “powers through your toughest messes better than the competition, the first time.”

NAD also considered whether the challenged claim implied that the Cascade product offered better overall cleaning performance against a variety of soils.

At the outset of the challenged commercial, viewers saw a blue box with a red stripe in the background, similar to the packaging for Reckitt’s Finish All-In-One Powerball product.  The commercial then showed a man scraping residue off a pan, while a woman wearing a look of disgust said “Ew, how is that clean?!”

A voiceover then stated that “it [Cascade Platinum] powers through your toughest messes better than the competition, the first time.” During the voiceover, the commercial showed a side-by-side demonstration of two pans in a dishwasher, both with baked-on brownie residue. As the demonstration progressed, the pan washed with Cascade Platinum was thoroughly clean, while the pan washed in the competing product displayed a substantial amount of food residue.

NAD found that the evidence in the record – which tested the respective detergents on numerous soils and showed consistent, and mostly statistically significant, superiority for Cascade Platinum – supports the advertiser’s claim that Cascade Platinum “powers through your toughest messes better than the competition, the first time.”

However, NAD found that the evidence in the record failed to support the message conveyed by the brownie demonstration in the commercial. NAD recommended that the advertiser discontinue this demonstration. Finally, NAD found that there was no basis to conclude that the commercial implied a message of overall cleaning superiority across all types of dishware and all types of soils.

P&G, in its advertiser’s statement, said that while the company “respectfully disagrees with the NAD’s conclusion regarding the message conveyed by the demonstration in this advertising, P&G will take NAD’s recommendations and guidance into account in future advertising.”