National Advertising Division Finds Glad Trash Bags Product Packaging Not Misleading; Recommends Glad Discontinue or Modify Other Advertising Claims
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New York, NY – January 19, 2022 – The National Advertising Division (NAD) of BBB National Programs determined that product packaging for Glad Products Company’s ForceFlex Plus with Clorox Tall Kitchen Drawstring Bags appropriately ties the Clorox brand to its odor elimination role, and that product packaging for Glad’s Quick-Tie Tall Kitchen CloroxPro Trash Bags does not have the potential to confuse consumers.
Reynolds Consumer Products LLC challenged express and implied claims on Glad’s product packaging, product webpages, and commercials associated with co-branding Clorox and Glad’s ForceFlex Plus and Quick-Tie Tall Kitchen CloroxPro trash bags. At issue was whether such claims conveyed an unsupported cleaning or disinfecting message.
NAD recommended that Glad:
- Discontinue the claims that Glad ForceFlex Plus with Clorox bags help consumers “maintain a clean and healthy home” and “keep your home feeling clean & healthy” or modify its website and third-party retail website advertising to avoid conveying the message that ForceFlex Plus with Clorox trash bags contain disinfecting attributes that contribute to a clean and healthy home.
- Discontinue or modify the depiction of the “germ-fighting” style imagery and use of the term “with Clorox protection” in its Amazon video to make clear that the benefit being promoted is an odor elimination benefit and not a disinfecting one.
- Discontinue its “Cleaning Commercial.”
NAD reviewed Glad’s ForceFlex Plus with Clorox product packaging to determine whether it clearly ties the Clorox brand to its odor elimination role. NAD found that packaging, which features the Clorox logo in close proximity to the claim “Eliminates Food & Bacterial Odors” along with “Lemon Fresh Bleach Scent,” did not require modification. NAD noted that the Clorox logo is appropriately tied to the odor elimination benefit it provides and the reference to bleach clearly refers to bleach as part of the scent of the product.
Although one challenged digital image featured the Clorox logo and the “Lemon Fresh Bleach Scent” label without any connection to odor elimination, NAD did not review the image on its merits due to the advertiser’s assurances that the image was permanently discontinued.
Further, NAD determined that product packaging for Glad’s Quick-Tie bags with the CloroxPro logo did not convey a disinfecting message because the CloroxPro logo is a brand extension distinct from Clorox’s traditional consumer product logo.
Regarding claims that Glad ForceFlex Plus with Clorox trash bags help consumers “maintain a clean and healthy home” and “keep your home feeling clean & healthy,” NAD found that by stating that the products contribute to a “healthy” home, consumers could interpret that the product provides a “health” benefit, i.e., that it has disinfecting properties. Further, the focus on “clean” in the context of the word “healthy” conveys a message that the Clorox in the product cleans, and not simply that consumers use trash bags to clean.
Because such claims could reasonably convey the unsubstantiated message that Glad ForceFlex Plus with Clorox trash bags contain disinfecting properties, NAD recommended that they be discontinued or that Glad modify its website and third-party retail website advertising to avoid conveying such a message. NAD noted, however, that nothing in its decision prevents the advertiser from describing the odor elimination benefits provided by its trash bags.
Amazon Video Advertisement
NAD found that a 20-second video advertisement for the ForceFlex Plus with Clorox trash bags that appears on Amazon’s product page conveys both an odor elimination message and an unsupported disinfecting message. Specifically, NAD determined that the combination of visuals of a typical germ-fighting scenario along with the words “with Clorox protection” could reasonably be interpreted by a consumer to mean that there is an added cleaning or disinfecting benefit provided by the trash bags.
Therefore, NAD recommended that Glad discontinue or modify the depiction of the “germ-fighting” style imagery and use of the term “with Clorox protection” in its Amazon video to make clear that the benefit being promoted is an odor elimination benefit and not a disinfecting one.
While the consumer perception study submitted by the challenger was found unreliable, NAD found that a reasonable consumer could take away an unsupported cleaning and disinfection message from Glad’s 30-second “Cleaning Commercial” for its ForceFlex Plus with Clorox bags. Further, NAD determined that the brief, small-font visual disclosure “this product is bleach-free” does not cure the message that Glad ForceFlex bags provide cleaning and disinfecting benefits of Clorox. Therefore, NAD recommended that Glad discontinue its “Cleaning Commercial.”
However, NAD noted that nothing in its decision prevents Clorox from partnering with other brands to tout its innovative odor elimination technology, but that it should do so in a manner that makes clear what benefits are provided by the co-branding.
In its advertiser statement, Glad stated that it “agrees to comply with NAD’s recommendations.” Further, the advertiser stated that although it “disagrees with NAD’s criticism of certain advertisements, as a strong supporter of self-regulation, it will take NAD’s recommendations into account in future advertising.”
About BBB National Programs: BBB National Programs is where businesses turn to enhance consumer trust and consumers are heard. The non-profit organization creates a fairer playing field for businesses and a better experience for consumers through the development and delivery of effective third-party accountability and dispute resolution programs. Embracing its role as an independent organization since the restructuring of the Council of Better Business Bureaus in June 2019, BBB National Programs today oversees more than a dozen leading national industry self-regulation programs, and continues to evolve its work and grow its impact by providing business guidance and fostering best practices in arenas such as advertising, child-directed marketing, and privacy. To learn more, visit bbbprograms.org.
About the National Advertising Division: The National Advertising Division (NAD) of BBB National Programs provides independent self-regulation and dispute resolution services, guiding the truthfulness of advertising across the U.S. NAD reviews national advertising in all media and its decisions set consistent standards for advertising truth and accuracy, delivering meaningful protection to consumers and leveling the playing field for business.
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