NAD Recommends Gillette Modify Advertising Claims For Its “Fusion ProGlide” Razor

New York, New York – March 14, 2011– The National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus has recommended that The Gillette Company modify or discontinue certain claims for its Fusion ProGlide Razors.

NAD, the advertising industry’s self-regulatory forum, reviewed claims on product packaging and in broadcast, print and Internet advertising, following a challenge by Energizer Personal Care, LLC, a competing manufacturer of razors and other personal care products.  The claims at issue included:

  • “Fusion ProGlide has been engineered with Gillette’s thinnest blades ever so it glides for less tug and pull”
  • “New Gillette Fusion ProGlide turns shaving into gliding with thinner blades for less tug and pull* and an effortless glide. (*leading blades vs. Fusion”)
  • “THINNER, FINER BLADES*
  • Re-engineered with low cutting force blades with thinner, finer edges* and our advanced low-resistance coating enable the blades to cut effortlessly through facial hair with less tug and pull than Fusion. (*leading blades vs. Fusion”)

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

Of key interest to NAD was the consumer interpretation of the claim “leading blades vs. Fusion.”  Although the advertiser asserted that the claim referred to the first four blades of the five-blade Fusion ProGlide razor, NAD noted that consumers could interpret “leading blades” to mean “leading product,” particularly given that the advertiser also referred to the “leading product” in the same advertisements. 

In considering the message conveyed by the term “leading product,” NAD reviewed market-share data that indicated the Fusion product was not the market leader at all pertinent time periods and that Hydro was also a leading product at certain time points.  Thus, the advertiser would need to provide testing comparing the thinness of its blades as against those of Energizer’s Schick Hydro and the advertiser failed to do so.  However, the advertiser’s testing did show that the blades of its Fusion ProGlide model were thinner than the blades of its earlier Fusion model.

Following its review of the evidence in the record, NAD recommended that the advertiser modify the claim that references “leading blades” to make clear that the claim refers to the first four blades of the razor.  Further, NAD recommended that the advertiser ensure that the challenged performance claims – including the reference to the “leading product” – make clear that the basis of comparison is as to the regular Fusion razor, not competing razors. 

NAD found, however, that the advertiser’s claims of “less tug and pull” and “an effortless glide” were supported, here again, only in comparison to the Fusion razor and recommended that the advertiser limit such claims accordingly.  

Gillette, in its advertiser’s statement, took issue with certain NAD findings.

“Though Gillette respectfully disagrees that its supported performance claims are not already properly qualified, Gillette thanks the NAD for its considered review of this matter.  As a strong supporter of the self-regulatory process, Gillette will reflect NAD’s recommendations in future ProGlide advertising,” the company said.