BBB National Programs Archive
NARB Recommends Native Cosmetics Discontinue Moisture Absorption and Underarm Wetness Protection Claims for Native Deodorant
New York, NY – December 16, 2019 – A panel of the National Advertising Review Board (NARB) has found that Zenlen Inc. d/b/a Native Cosmetics (Native) failed to provide a reasonable basis for two related claims made by Native – that Native deodorants “absorb” underarm wetness and provide effective protection against wetness, and recommended that such claims be discontinued. The advertising at issue had been challenged by Tom’s of Maine, maker of competing deodorant products, before the National Advertising Division (NAD), an investigative unit of the advertising industry’s system of self-regulation. Following NAD’s decision, Native appealed to the NARB, the appellate unit of the advertising industry’s system of self-regulation.
Native argued that its products provide wetness protection by means of two “mechanisms of action.” One is a water-absorbing capability based on the presence of certain ingredients in the products. The other is a barrier effect caused by the deodorant creating an occlusive film on the surface of the skin.
Agreeing with NAD, the NARB panel recommended that Native discontinue its moisture-absorption claim because Native could not show that its deodorants absorb a consumer-relevant amount of water. Further, the panel agreed with NAD’s analysis rejecting Native’s evaluation of the moisture-absorbing capability of certain ingredients in the Native deodorants as relevant to the amount of moisture the finished product would absorb.
The NARB panel also recommended that Native discontinue the claim that its deodorant products provide effective protection against wetness. The panel agreed with NAD’s determination that the skin capacitance testing submitted by Native did not support Native’s claim. The panel shared NAD’s concerns that the testing methodology only measures the moisture level above the occlusive layer. It further determined that reasonable consumers could expect product protection well beyond the 4 hours measured by the skin capacitance test. The panel also noted that the advertiser did not show on this record that measurements on the back are acceptable for claim support for a deodorant.
Native stated that while it “is disappointed and respectfully disagrees with the NARB Panel’s decision, as a strong supporter of the self-regulatory process Native will agree to discontinue the challenged claims.”
Note: A recommendation by NAD or NARB to modify or discontinue a claim is not a finding of wrongdoing and an advertiser’s voluntary discontinuance or modification of claims should not be construed as an admission of impropriety. It is the policy of NAD and NARB not to endorse any company, product, or service. Decisions finding that advertising claims have been substantiated should not be construed as endorsements.
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