National Advertising Review Board Recommends Dr. Squatch Discontinue Jukebox “Detergent” Claims; Finds Jukebox Soap “Natural” Claims Supported

New York, NY – November 22, 2023 – A panel of the National Advertising Review Board (NARB), the appellate advertising body of BBB National Programs, recommended that Dr. Squatch, LLC discontinue referring to products that may compete with its Jukebox Soap products as consisting of, containing, or being detergents. However, the NARB panel determined that Dr. Squatch provided a reasonable basis for its “natural” claims for Jukebox Soap. 

Dr. Squatch’s Jukebox brand distinguishes itself from competing bars and cleansers as “real” soap made with natural ingredients. The advertising at issue had been challenged by Unilever U.S., Inc., manufacturer of Dove brand cleansers and body washes. Following a decision by the National Advertising Division (NAD) (Case No. 7195), Dr. Squatch appealed and Unilever cross-appealed.

 

Detergent Claims

In agreement with NAD, the NARB panel concluded that referring to competitive products as being or containing detergents communicates the unsupported message that competitive products are harsh to the skin. The NARB panel further agreed with NAD that consumers are not likely aware of the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) technical definitions, and accordingly, it is misleading for Dr. Squatch to refer to the FDA’s definition in referencing competing products as “synthetic detergents.”

 

Natural Claims

In agreement with NAD, the NARB panel concluded that Dr. Squatch provided a reasonable basis for its “natural” claims. In so finding, the NARB panel noted that:

  • An analysis of consumer expectation is the proper standard for what is or is not natural.
  • Saponification would be regarded by reasonable consumers as minimal processing, and therefore consistent with identifying the product as natural.
  • Jukebox products are made almost entirely from natural or naturally derived ingredients.

 

Claims about Jukebox’s Leadership

In the underlying decision, NAD recommended that the statement “Who run the world? Girls” in conjunction with the statement “From our world-class natural perfumers and in-house artisan soap makers to our bubbly leadership, we’re a band of music & soap-lovin’ ladies” be modified to avoid conveying the message that Jukebox is a women-run brand. The NARB panel determined that NAD reached the correct conclusion on this issue.

During the appeal, Dr. Squatch presented the NARB panel with modified advertising in which the heading “Who run the world? Girls?” has been replaced with “Meet the Band.” The NARB panel concluded that the revised advertising communicates a different message than the claim language that had been challenged and is properly supported because it refers to the hands-on, directly responsible personnel who, based on the evidence, are primarily women. 

Dr. Squatch stated that it “appreciates NARB’s careful review of the record in this appeal and will comply with the recommendations made by NAD and NARB in Jukebox's future advertising.”

All BBB National Programs case decision summaries can be found in the case decision library. For the full text of NAD, NARB, and CARU decisions, subscribe to the online archive. Per NAD/NARB procedures, this release shall not be used for advertising or promotional purposes.

 

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