NAD Recommends Gillette Discontinue ‘MoistureRich’ Descriptor for Venus ProSkin Razors

New York, NY – July 18,  2012 – The National Advertising Division has determined that the Gillette Company’s use of the descriptor “MoistureRich” in the product name of its “Gillette Venus ProSkin MoistureRich” women’s razor conveys the misleading message that the product moisturizes while one shaves.
NAD recommended that the advertiser discontinue the use of the term “MoistureRich” – both in the product name and when the descriptor is used in isolation.
NAD is an investigative unit of the advertising industry’s system of self-regulation and is administered by the Council of Better Business Bureaus.
NAD examined claims for the product that appeared on product packaging and in print and other mediums following a challenge Energizer Personal Care, LLC, the maker of Schick “Intuition Plus” razors.
NAD reviewed express claims that included:
•    “MoistureRich”
•    “The only razor with MoistureRich shave gel bars, enhanced with a triple blend of body butters.”
•    “MoistureRich shave gel bars enhanced with a triple blend of body butters that create a layer of protection for your skin with every close stroke.”
•    “Treat your skin to MoistureRich”
NAD also examined whether the advertising at issue presented implied claims that ProSkin provides a protective layer of moisture that hydrates the skin and protects it from drying out after shaving.
NAD noted in its decision that it is undisputed that the Venus ProSkin razor does not moisturize during or after one shaves but, rather, that gel bars on either side of the blades contain moisturizers to provide lubrication while shaving.
As part of its review, NAD examined a consumer-perception study offered by Schick to confirm the degree, if any, of consumer confusion by Gillette’s use of the terms “MoistureRich” and “body butters” to describe the its product. The study indicated that a significant number of respondents – 45.3% – played back a moisturization message after reviewing the Venus ProSkin product packaging.
Following its review of the evidence, NAD determined that the advertiser’s use of the descriptor “MoistureRich” in the context  in which it was found on its product packaging, print and other advertisements, conveyed the message that the Venus ProSkin moisturizes the skin during the shave process – a claim that was  not supported by the evidence in the record.
NAD recommended that the advertiser discontinue the use of the term “MoistureRich”,  in its product name “Gillette Venus ProSkin MoistureRich.” Further, NAD recommended that the advertiser discontinue use of the term where it appears in isolation – including on the front panel of packaging and in stand-alone claims, such as “Treat Your Skin to MoistureRich.”
NAD noted that nothing in its decision precludes the advertiser from referring in body copy to its “MoistureRich Gel Bars” (or “body butters”).

However,  NAD recommended that Gillette do so in direct conjunction with language that makes it clear that gel bars or body butters serve as lubricants during one’s shave or eliminate the need for a separate shave cream – and avoid any implication that the gel bars provide a moisturization benefit beyond such attributes.

NAD said in its decision that it is “cognizant of the burden placed on an advertiser when a recommendation is made to modify or discontinue certain packaging claims, and does not take lightly any recommendation that a product name (or descriptor virtually incorporated into a product name) be changed.”
And in previous cases, NAD noted, it made clear that “[i]n the absence of extrinsic evidence that consumers have been confused or misled by the name of the product feature … as it appears on the advertiser’s product packaging, NAD will not require an advertiser to change the trademarked name of a product feature due to a challenger’s speculation that the name is misleading.”
In this case, however, the challenger presented a study that NAD concluded was “well-conducted and sufficiently reliable in demonstrating that a significant number of respondents (at least 45.3%) perceive the packaging claims as conveying a moisturizing benefit far beyond that intended by the advertiser.”
Gillette, in its advertiser’s statement, said that it disagreed with NAD’s conclusions.
“Gillette has used the term ‘moisturerich’ to describe shaving aids included on various razors since 1994, and we are pleased that the NAD accepts its continued use in context.  However, we believe the context for the product in this case to be appropriate already.  … However, as a strong supporter of the self-regulatory process, we will take the NAD’s considerations into account for future advertising.”