BBB National Programs Archive


New York, New York – Jan. 17, 2012 – The National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus Claims has recommended that Neutrogena modify or discontinue certain claims for the company’s “Rapid Wrinkle Repair,” to avoid conveying the message that the product can eliminate wrinkles in “just one week.” NAD determined the advertiser could support certain claims.

 examined claims made by Neutrogena in print advertising as part of NAD’s ongoing monitoring program. In this case, NAD examined the following express claims:

  • “Most anti-wrinkle creams disappear long before the wrinkles.  Until now.  Introducing Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair.”
  • “It has Accelerated Retinol SA, which is the fastest retinol formula available.”
  • “In fact, it’s clinically proven to smooth wrinkles in just one week.”

NAD also examined the implied claims that Neutrogena Rapid Anti-Wrinkle Repair moisturizer is more effective than most competing anti-wrinkle creams and that the product can make wrinkles disappear in just one week.

NAD noted in its decision that the advertiser’s evidence included the results of well-designed and controlled studies and that the testing covered 90 percent of competing anti-aging products that contain retinol, which the advertiser explained is the number one cosmetic anti-wrinkle ingredient recommended by dermatologists based on its efficacy. 

NAD noted, as well, that the testing indicated the advertiser’s product contained the highest amount of retinol available among Neutrogena and certain competing products, contains a specially formulated complex to help accelerate the skin benefits, and worked more rapidly than some competing products. 

However, NAD noted, the fast-acting nature of the retinol does not necessarily support the message conveyed by the advertising – namely, that Rapid Wrinkle Repair substantially reduces or eliminates wrinkles in one week. 

NAD recommended that the advertiser discontinue the claim that “[m]ost anti-wrinkle creams disappear long before the wrinkles.  Until now.” 

Further, NAD recommended the advertiser modify the claim “[i]n fact, it’s clinically proven to smooth wrinkles in just one week” to avoid conveying the unsupported message that wrinkles are substantially reduced or eliminated in one week and to specify that the greatest improvements were seen in the reduction of fine lines and photodamage. 

Finally, NAD determined that the claim “It has Accelerated Retinol SA, which is the fastest retinol formula available” was supported. 

In its advertiser’s statement, Neutrogena said that the company is “gratified” that NAD found it could support certain claims. “However,” the company noted, “we strongly disagree with the remainder of the NAD’s decision … .

“Nonetheless, we will take into consideration the NAD’s decision as we review current and future advertising for the product.  We support the NAD’s mission and the self-regulatory process.”

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