BBB National Programs Archive

NAD Finds Pactiv Can Support Certain Advertising Claims For “Odorblock” Product, Following Challenge By Glad

New York, New York – Nov. 24,  2009 – The National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus has determined that Pactiv Corp. can support certain claims for its Hefty OdorBlock Trash Bags, although NAD has recommended the advertiser discontinue certain claims. NAD further determined that there was no evidence that would require Pactiv to change the name of the “OdorBlock” product.

NAD, the advertising industry’s self-regulatory forum, examined packaging, television, print, and Internet advertising claims, following a challenge by Glad Products Company, manufacturers of OdorShield, competing trash bags. 

Claims at issue in NAD’s inquiry included:

  • “OdorBlock”
  • “helps control everyday garbage odors —  helping to keep kitchens fresh”
  • “neutralizes garbage odors leaving your kitchen smelling the way you want to so it’s not stinky stinky”
  • “neutralizes odors”
  • “escape the horror of smelly garbage”
  • “doesn’t use any unwanted masking scent or perfumes that can interfere with pleasant cooking and baking aromas”
  • “world’s best”

NAD reviewed evidence that included the results of sensory testing conducted by the advertiser and the advertiser’s patent application. Following its review of the evidence, NAD determined that the advertiser provided a reasonable basis for qualified claims that Hefty trash bags with OdorBlock technology “helps control everyday garbage odors – helping to keep kitchens fresh” and “OdorBlock bags … reduce the odors associated with everyday household trash.

Further, NAD determined that there was no evidentiary basis to require a name change with respect to the product containing “OdorBlock” technology. 

NAD found that the claims “escape the horror of smelly garbage,” and “stinky stinky,” were simply a whimsical exaggeration of the advertiser’s evidence.

However, NAD determined that the advertiser’s testing was not sufficient to support its quantified performance claims that OdorBlock “neutralizes garbage odor” or “neutralizes odors” and recommended that the these claims be discontinued in the commercial, print and Web advertising.

NAD determined that the advertiser provided a reasonable basis for its claim that this product “doesn’t use any unwanted masking scent or perfumes that can interfere with pleasant cooking and baking aromas.”

NAD further determined that the claim “World’s Best,” in a stand-alone context, could be considered puffery.  In the challenged context of the free-standing insert, however, NAD found that “World’s Best” could convey the message that Hefty trash bags with OdorBlock technology are the best kitchen bags for controlling odors, a claim that is not supported by the evidence in the record.  NAD recommended that the advertiser discontinue this claim.

Finally, NAD determined that the advertiser could support the claim made on its Website that the produce “doesn’t use any unwanted masking scent or perfumes that can interfere with pleasant cooking and baking aromas,” the advertiser provided to NAD, on a confidential basis, the patent application for OdorBlock technology.  NAD determined that this provided a reasonable basis for this claim.

Pactiv, in its advertiser’s statement, said the company is pleased that NAD found that Hefty OdorBlock Trash Bags help control everyday garbage odors and reduce the odors associated with everyday household trash.  The company said it will “take NAD’s additional recommendations into account in its future advertising.”