BBB National Programs Archive
NAD FINDS KIMBERLY-CLARK CAN SUPPORT ‘PREFERRED’ CLAIM FOR HUGGIES LITTLE SNUGGLERS, BUT NOT CERTAIN ABSORBENCY CLAIMS Claims at Issue C
New York, NY – Feb. 16, 2012 – The National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus has determined that Kimberly-Clark Corporation, the maker of Huggies-brand diapers, can support the advertising claim that Huggies “Little Snugglers” diapers are “preferred” over Pampers Swaddlers. NAD recommended, however, that discontinue comparative absorbency claims.
NAD, the advertising industry’s self-regulatory forum, reviewed claims made by K-C in print and Internet advertising following a challenge by The Procter & Gamble Company, maker of Pampers diapers.
Claims at issue included:
- “Preferred over Pampers Swaddlers with Dry Max” and “More Moms Prefer Huggies.”
- “Softer than Pampers Swaddlers with Dry Max.”
- “HUGGIES Little Snugglers Diapers hold more than Pampers Swaddlers with Dry Max.”
- “HUGGIES Little Snugglers are more absorbent than Pampers Swaddlers with Dry Max.”
- “HUGGIES Little Snugglers are the #1 choice of moms.”
In this case, a key issue was how NAD evaluated the results of the tests presented by the parties as evidence.
Both parties had conducted nationwide home use tests on newborn Huggies Little Snugglers and Pampers Swaddlers diapers. Following its review, NAD determined that the advertiser’s evidence was sufficient to support its claims that its product was “Preferred over Pampers Swaddlers with Dry Max” and “More Moms Prefer Huggies.” NAD also found that the advertiser could support the claim that HUGGIES Little Snugglers diapers are softer on the inside than Pampers Swaddlers. NAD determined that challenger’s evidence was insufficient to rebut the basis established by the advertiser.
However, NAD determined that the advertiser’s evidence could not support the claims “HUGGIES Little Snugglers Diapers hold more than Pampers Swaddlers with Dry Max” and “HUGGIES Little Snugglers are more absorbent than Pampers Swaddlers with Dry Max” and recommended that they be discontinued.
In support of its absorbency claims, the advertiser relied on testing performed on urine-absorbing aids for incontinent adults; the applicability of the test to babies was “unknown.” NAD also determined that the test method – a dunk test during which the entire diaper was soaked in water for at least 30 minutes – would not occur during normal use. NAD determined that the testing was insufficient to support the absorbency claims.
As a preliminary matter, the advertiser noted that it permanently discontinued using the “#1” claim in connection with the current Little Snugglers advertising campaign prior to the filing of the challenge and NAD did not review that claim on its merits.
Kimberly-Clark, in its advertiser’s statement, said the company was “disappointed” with certain of NAD’s findings. “Nonetheless, in the spirit of cooperation with the self-regulatory process we will take NAD’s recommendations into account in future advertising. We thank NAD for its careful consideration of the issues raised in this matter.”
NAD’s inquiry was conducted under NAD/CARU/NARB Procedures for the Voluntary Self-Regulation of National Advertising. Details of the initial inquiry, NAD’s decision, and the advertiser’s response will be included in the next NAD/CARU Case Report.
About Advertising Industry Self-Regulation: The National Advertising Review Council (NARC) was formed in 1971. NARC establishes the policies and procedures for the National Advertising Division (NAD) of the Council of Better Business Bureaus, the CBBB’s Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU), the National Advertising Review Board (NARB) and the Electronic Retailing Self-Regulation Program (ERSP).
The NARC Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the American Advertising Federation, Inc. (AAF), American Association of Advertising Agencies, Inc., (AAAA), the Association of National Advertisers, Inc. (ANA), Council of Better Business Bureaus, Inc. (CBBB), Direct Marketing Association (DMA), Electronic Retailing Association (ERA) and Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB). Its purpose is to foster truth and accuracy in national advertising through voluntary self-regulation.
NAD, CARU and ERSP are the investigative arms of the advertising industry’s voluntary self-regulation program. Their casework results from competitive challenges from other advertisers, and also from self-monitoring traditional and new media. NARB, the appeals body, is a peer group from which ad-hoc panels are selected to adjudicate NAD/CARU cases that are not resolved at the NAD/CARU level. This unique, self-regulatory system is funded entirely by the business community; CARU is financed by the children’s advertising industry, while NAD/NARC/NARB’s primary source of funding is derived from membership fees paid to the CBBB. ERSP’s funding is derived from membership in the Electronic Retailing Association. For more information about advertising industry self-regulation, please visit www.narcpartners.org.