Reckitt Benckiser Discontinues Claims, Modifies Packaging Following NAD Inquiries

New York, NY – June 8, 2009 – The National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus has determined in two separate cases that Reckett Benckiser acted appropriately when it discontinued certain broadcast advertising claims for Finish Quantum automatic dishwashing detergent and modified product packaging for Finish Jet-Dry Turbo Dry, a dishwashing additive.

NAD, the advertising industry’s self-regulatory forum, examined the advertising claims and product packaging following challenges by the Procter & Gamble Company, the maker of Cascade dishwashing products.

P&G challenged the following broadcast advertising claims for Finish Quantum:

  • “New Finish Quantum. Our advanced technology cleans better than the leading Cascade product and leaves nothing behind but the Jet Dry shine.”
  • “It’s only dishwashing but we believe you deserve the best results every time.”

The challenger provided testing that compared Finish Quantum with Cascade Complete All-in-1 Pacs and Cascade Action Pacs. The tests were conducted head-to-head, using oatmeal residue on dishes. The challenger maintained that the results demonstrated that both Cascade All-in-1 Pacs and Cascade Action Pacs clean better than, or as well as, Quantum.

Upon receipt of NAD’s opening letter, the advertiser informed NAD that the claims at issue had been discontinued; action that NAD noted was “necessary and appropriate.”

Separately, P&G challenged product packaging claims for Finish Jet-Dry Turbo that stated:

  • On the front panel: “Superior drying – even on plastic items*”
  • On back panel: “*vs. detergent alone

P&G argued that positioning a claim on the front panel of packaging for Finish Jet-Dry Turbo, while placing the disclaimer on the back panel, could leave consumers with the impression that Finish Jet-Dry was superior to competing products.

Regarding the Jet-Dry challenge, the advertiser objected to the challenger’s characterization that its claim was “false and misleading” and noted that the challenger did not object to the superiority claim but rather to the placement of the disclaimer.  However, the advertiser voluntarily agreed to redesign its packing so that the disclaimer appears on the front panel in close proximity to the claim it qualifies.  The advertiser represented that the revision would be completed and ready to ship by Sept. 5, 2009.

Reckitt Benckiser, in its advertiser’s statements, said the company is a strong supporter of NAD and the self-regulatory process and has made the revisions outlined in NAD’s decisions.