BBB National Programs Archive

Certain Advertising Claims for Aunt Fannie’s Pest Control Products Permanently Discontinued Following NAD Challenge

New York, NY – July 16, 2019 – Aunt Fannie’s, Inc. stated that it will permanently discontinue certain challenged express and implied claims for its pest control products in website, social media and product packaging advertising, following a challenge before the National Advertising Division by competitor S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc.

NAD is an investigative unit of the advertising industry’s system of self-regulation and is a division of the BBB NP’s self-regulatory and dispute resolution programs.

The claims challenged by S.C. Johnson & Son included:

Express Claims:

  • Aunt Fannie’s “All-Purpose Pest Remedy” gets “rid” of and “DRIVE[S] OUT” “creepy crawlies.”
  • Aunt Fannie’s “All Purpose Pest Remedy” delivers a “protective barrier” that “LASTS UP TO 30 DAYS.”
  • Aunt Fannie’s “Roach Remedy” and “Ant Remedy” products are “WILDLY EFFECTIVE AT GETTING RID OF [ROACHES/ANTS] AND OTHER CREEPY CRAWLIES.”
  • Aunt Fannie’s “FlyPunch!” product can “eliminate fruit fly problems better than anything else…544% better. According to independent university research,” and can “simply…[make] the problem disappear.”

Implied Claims:

  • Aunt Fannie’s pest controlproducts have “microcosmic” and “microbiomic” ingredients.
  • Aunt Fannie’s pest control products won’t “disrupt” the microbiome while they work.
  • Aunt Fannie’s pest control products are “microbiome-safe,” unlike competitive pest control products, and as a result, Aunt Fannie’s pest control products will improve health and wellness.
  • Conventional pest controlproducts—including natural products—harm the microbiome and are therefore harmful to your health or less safe, but Aunt Fannie’s pest controlproducts do not.
  • Aunt Fannie’s pest controlproducts will have positive health benefits due to their microbiomic ingredients that can “LET YOUR HOME COME ALIVE. Aunt Fannie’s brings your home and health back home to the microbiome.”
  • Aunt Fannie’s founding story communicates that consumers who use Aunt Fannie’s pest control products will experience improved health and will be cured from serious ailments.

Aunt Fannie’s maintained that the challenged express pest product labeling and website claims were permanently discontinued prior to the commencement of the challenge, and that the alleged implied claims were never, in fact, implied.  Although NAD appreciated that the advertiser made significant changes to its pest product advertising, NAD determined that the old product packaging and social media claims remained in the marketplace at the time of the challenge and there was no conclusive evidence in the record showing that the challenged website claims were permanently withdrawn from use prior to the date of the complaint. Consequently, NAD declined to administratively close the matter.

Nonetheless, during the pendency of NAD’s inquiry, the advertiser represented in writing that it has permanently discontinued the challenged express and implied claims, which, the challenger alleged, linked Aunt Fannie’s pest products to the “biome” and improved health outcomes. NAD, relying on the advertiser’s representations that the claims have been permanently discontinued, did not review the claims on their merits. However, the voluntarily discontinued claims will be treated, for compliance purposes, as though NAD recommended their discontinuance and the advertiser agreed to comply. In its advertiser’s statement, Aunt Fannie’s stated that it “agrees to comply with NAD’s decision.”