BBB National Programs Archive

NAD Refers Advertising for Diaper Rash Product to FTC after Summers Laboratories Declines to Abide by NAD Recommendations

New York, NY – Feb. 1, 2013 – The National Advertising Division has referred advertising claims made by Summers Laboratories, Inc., for its Triple Paste Medicated Diaper Rash Ointment to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for further review, after the company declined to abide by NAD recommendations.

NAD is an investigative unit of the advertising industry’s system of self-regulation and it is administered by the Council of Better Business Bureaus.

NAD reached its decision following a challenge from Johnson & Johnson Consumer Companies, Inc., a maker of competing diaper rash ointments. J&J challenged claims that included:

• “Recommended by pediatricians and dermatologists when other treatments fail.”
• “Thousands of pediatricians recommend Triple Past for diaper rash when other treatments fail because it works on contact and immediately relieves raw, irritated skin.”
• “Your baby deserves the very best.”

J&J also challenged certain testimonials posted to the Triple Paste website.

During the course of NAD’s review, the advertiser voluntarily discontinued certain claims, including physicians’ testimonials that appeared at its website, action that NAD noted was necessary and proper.

The advertiser provided survey evidence as support for its “Dr. Recommended” claims. However, NAD found that the survey flawed by the absence of a randomized survey population and the leading nature of the survey questions. The survey was further flawed, NAD noted, because there was now way to verify the authenticity of the responses. Also problematic for NAD was the fact that the third and final question asked was which monetary incentive respondents would prefer to have when recommending Triple paste to their patients – a $1 coupon plus product sample, or a $2 coupon with no sample.

For all of these reasons, NAD determined that the survey provided was insufficiently reliable to substantiate the advertiser’s “Dr. Recommended” claims.

NAD recommended that the advertiser’s claim, “Recommended by pediatricians and dermatologists when other treatments fail” be discontinued on product packaging and elsewhere.

Summers Laboratories, in its advertiser’s statement, asserted that the NAD’s decision was in error and counter to applicable rulings of the FTC. Further, the company asserted that its advertising is in full compliance with such rulings.

As a result, the company said, it will not implement NAD’s recommendations.

Pursuant to NAD’s procedures, the advertising at issue has been referred to the FTC for further review.