BBB National Programs Archive
NAD Recommends Gillette Modify, Discontinue Certain Claims for ‘Venus & Olay’ Razors Following Challenge by Energizer
New York, NY – Feb. 21, 2013 – The National Advertising Division has recommended that Gillette Company modify or discontinue advertising claims that suggest shaving with the company’s Venus & Olay women’s razors provide a benefit that goes beyond lubrication while shaving.
NAD is an investigative unit of the advertising industry’s system of self-regulation. It is administered by the Council of Better Business Bureaus.
The claims at issue in this inquiry were challenged before NAD by Energizer Personal Care, LLC, the maker of Schick razors.
NAD requested Gillette’s substantiation for claims that included:
• “Venus & Olay”
• “Helps replenish skin’s moisture*,” “helps lock in moisture*,” disclaimed by, “*for less dryness vs. Venus Breeze over time.”
• “Olay Moisture Bars” and “Olay Skin Conditioners”
• “. . . shaving can sometimes make your skin dull and dry. Only the new Venus & Olay razor combines Venus’ best shaving technology and Olay’s skin expertise all in one.”
• “Just wet the razor to activate the built-in Olay Moisture Bars, releasing a light lather that contains Olay skin conditioners, to help replenish your skin’s moisture.”
• “Olay Moisture Bars release skin conditioners to help lock in moisture and boost your shave*.”
The advertiser’s Venus & Olay product is the first of its products to combine shave gel bars with five blades. In this case, the advertiser’s primary support for its claim was a study that compared the performance of its Venus & Olay razor with its earlier model Venus Breeze razor.
NAD noted in its decision that the advertiser’s testing provided a reasonable basis for its intended message – that the Venus & Olay was less drying than the Venus Breeze over time, although NAD found the disclaiming language was insufficient because it was not clear or in close proximity to the claims at issue.
However, NAD was not persuaded that the advertising at issue conveyed only one message. Following its review of the evidence in the record, NAD found that the terms “moisture” and “skin conditioners” – if used only in reference to the gel bars on the razor – described for consumers a “2-in-1” wet shaving razor that lubricates the skin during shaving, eliminating the need for shave gel or cream.
However, NAD noted, when the same phrases were tied into the claims “helps replenish skin’s moisture” and “helps lock in skin’s moisture” claims, the advertising conveyed the unsupported message that the gel bars provide a moisturizing benefit.
NAD recommended the advertiser modify or discontinue its use of the phrases “helps lock in moisture*” and “helps replenish skin’s moisture*” and recommended that future advertising be clearly and expressly limited to the substantiated message “less dryness over time versus Venus Breeze.” NAD found certain imagery used in the advertising – ribbons of lotion – wasn’t misleading on a stand-alone basis, or if used in conjunction with claims modified as NAD has recommended.
Finally NAD found that the use of the Olay brand by the advertiser was not misleading and did not, in and of itself, convey a moisturization message.
Gillette, in its advertiser’s statement, said the company disagreed with certain of NAD’s findings but would, take NAD’s recommendations into account in future advertising. “