Following a National Advertising Division Challenge, Ginsey Adds Clarifying Disclosure to Advertising for its Antimicrobial Toilet Seats

New York, NY – August 3, 2023 – In a challenge brought by Bemis Manufacturing Company, the National Advertising Division (NAD) of BBB National Programs determined that additional clarifying language was necessary to qualify claims made by Ginsey Industries, Inc. regarding the antimicrobial protections provided by its Clorox Antimicrobial line of toilet seats. Ginsey is a licensee of The Clorox Company, which was not a party to this matter. 

The underlying efficacy of the antimicrobial properties of the toilet seat was not at issue in the case, which concerned the manner in which the antimicrobial benefit was communicated to consumers. 

During the challenge Ginsey voluntarily committed to:

  • Add a disclosure (clarifying statement) to its product packaging and its advertising and all descriptions for products in which “antimicrobial” is used that “This product does not protect users against bacteria, viruses, or other disease organisms. Always clean and wash this product thoroughly before and after each use”; and
  • Revise all online product listings to remove the image of a shield that includes an antimicrobial checkmark image inside the Clorox chevron logo.

 

In addition, NAD recommended that Ginsey modify its advertising to ensure that the clarifying statement is clear and conspicuous, including that Ginsey:

  • Modify its website advertising by moving its clarifying statement into close proximity to the triggering “antimicrobial” claims; and
  • Work with retailers to implement similar modifications to advertising for its products on retailer websites.

 

NAD considered but was not persuaded by Bemis’ argument that the challenged advertising communicates the implied claim that a Clorox product (likely bleach) is the active ingredient in providing antimicrobial protection. NAD found that use of the Clorox brand name is not misleading when it is used together with the clarifying statement. 

Finally, NAD recommended that the clarifying statement be clear and conspicuous and placed into close proximity to any claim that touts Ginsey’s products as being antimicrobial or containing antimicrobial properties including where the claim is coupled with the famous Clorox chevron logo on third-party sites.

In its advertiser statement, Ginsey stated that although it respectfully disagrees that “further modifications to its online product listings are necessary to protect consumers,” it agrees to comply with NAD’s decision. 

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 Procedures, this release shall not be used for advertising or promotional purposes.

 

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