NAD Recommends Schick Modify, Discontinue Certain Claims For Schick Hydro Razor, Including “Best Shave” Claim

New York, New York – March 14, 2011– The National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus has recommended that Energizer Personal Care, LLC, modify or discontinue certain advertising claims for the Schick Hydro razor, including the comparative superiority claims that Hydro razors offers “The Best Shave for Your Skin.”

NAD, the advertising industry’s self-regulatory forum, reviewed claims made in print and broadcast advertising following a challenge by The Gillette Company, the maker of competing razors, including the Gillette Fusion.

Claims at issue included:

  • Hydro razors are the “best shave for your skin.”
  • “Hydrating gel” (used to describe the gel of Hydro 5).
  • “It’s like a blast of hydration to your face.”
  • “Extreme Hydration.”
  • “Only Hydro has a water-activated gel reservoir that hydrates your skin as you shave.”
  • “Water activated gel hydrates your skin.”
  • “Hydration when you least expect it.”

Gillette’s Hydro 5 five-bladed razor and Hydro 3 three-bladed razor have a reservoir with gel that activates upon contact with water to hydrate the skin during shaving. The Gillette Hydro 5 hydrating gel contains a proprietary polyoxethylene – or polyox – that hydrates the skin during shaving, a polyox different than that found in regular lubrication strips.

In this case, the challenger argued that the advertiser’s hydration claims convey the message that Schick Hydro provides a meaningful increase in the water content of the skin that extends beyond the shaving process itself. The advertiser countered that its claims are clearly limited to the hydration benefit conferred during shaving.

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

Following its review of the evidence, which included consumer-use and head-to-head hydration testing, NAD determined that the challenged advertising conveyed the implied message that the Schick Hydro provides a post-shave hydration benefit – a message that was unsupported by the evidence in the record. NAD recommended that the advertiser modify its advertising to avoid conveying the message that the Schick Hydro provides such a benefit.

NAD also determined that, within the context of the challenged advertising, the advertiser’s “best shave for your skin” claim was a comparative superiority claim and found that the advertiser failed to meet its burden of establishing a reasonable basis for the claim. However, NAD concluded that the advertiser provided adequate substantiation for the proposition that – within Schick’s line of products – the Hydro provides the best shave for one’s skin. NAD recommended that the “Best Shave for Your Skin” claim either be discontinued or modified.  

Further, NAD concluded that the challenged commercials failed to adequately distinguish between the Hydro 5 and the Hydro 3. With regard to the Hydro 5 commercials NAD recommendation that the unsubstantiated “Best Shave for Your Skin” claim be discontinued. With regard to the Hydro 3 commercials, NAD recommended that the advertiser modify the claim “It’s a Better Shave than Mach 3” to indicate that it applies solely to the Hydro 3 razor.

Schick, in its advertiser’s statement, said that the company respectfully disagrees with certain of NAD’s finding, including the “determination that the Hydro advertising conveys a long-lasting hydration benefit, akin to that of a leave-on moisturizer.” Further, the company said, it is “disappointed with NAD’s conclusion that the slogan ‘The Best Shave for Your Skin’ is a comparative superiority claim.”

The company noted, however, that “Schick appreciates the opportunity to participate in the self-regulatory program, commends the NAD for its efforts and its commitment, and will take NAD’s recommendations into account in future advertising.”