National Advertising Review Board Recommends Merck Animal Health Discontinue “Best in Show” Commercial for Bravecto Flea and Tick Preventative for Dogs

For Immediate Release
Contact: Abby Hills, Director of Communications, BBB National Programs

703-247-9330 / press@bbbnp.org

New York, NY – May 05, 2022 – A panel of the National Advertising Review Board (NARB), the appellate advertising law body of BBB National Programs, has recommended that Merck Animal Health discontinue its “Best in Show” commercial for Bravecto brand flea and tick preventative based on the NARB panel’s finding that the 30-second commercial reasonably communicates an implied misleading and unsupported message that a rival company’s NexGard brand flea preventative fails to protect against fleas for twelve weeks because of a lack of efficacy. 

The advertising at issue had been challenged before the National Advertising Division (NAD) by Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health USA Inc., maker of NexGard. Following NAD’s decision (Case No. 7029), Merck Animal Health appealed NAD’s recommendation that it discontinue its 30-second “Best in Show” television commercial. 

In agreement with NAD, the NARB panel determined that Merck Animal Health’s commercial in its current form is not sufficiently clear in conveying that Bravecto’s longer-lasting performance in preventing fleas as compared to NexGard is due solely to the fact that Bravecto is a chew designed to last 12 weeks, while NexGard is a chew designed to last for one month. 

The NARB panel found that this lack of clarity results in a reasonable interpretation by consumers that the NexGard single-dose product failed to continue working through the 12-week time period portrayed in the commercial because it is less efficacious, a claim which both parties agree is not supported. The panel noted that there is nothing in the record to indicate that NexGard when used as directed with monthly dosing is less effective than Bravecto at preventing fleas and ticks over a 12-week period.

For these reasons, the NARB panel recommended that Merck Animal Health discontinue its 30-second “Best in Show” advertisement.

The NARB panel also found that nothing in the NAD decision prevents Merck Animal Health from advertising a truthful message that a single dose of Bravecto is designed to last 12 weeks compared to NexGard’s one-month dosing design, and any benefit that may come from that, such as convenience to pet owners.

Merck Animal Health stated that it “will comply with the NARB’s decision.” The advertiser further stated that it “respectfully disagrees with the majority’s ruling that the Bravecto 30 second ‘Best in Show’ commercial reasonably conveys a message other than that one dose of Bravecto has a longer duration of action than a dose of NexGard. Nonetheless, Merck Animal Health will consider the NARB’s recommendations in 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

Latest Decisions

Decision

Children’s Advertising Review Unit Finds Outright Games in Violation of COPPA and CARU’s Advertising and Privacy Guidelines; Company Agrees to Corrective Actions

McLean, VA – July 6, 2022 – The Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU) has found Outright Games, owner and operator of the Bratz Total Fashion Makeover app, in violation of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and CARU’s Self-Regulatory Guidelines for...

Read the Decision Summary
Decision

National Advertising Division Recommends Dakota Nutrition Discontinue Claims that Dietary Supplements Contain Elderberry

New York, NY – June 29, 2022 – The National Advertising Division (NAD) recommended that Dakota Nutrition, Inc. discontinue challenged express and implied claims that its dietary supplements contain the ingredient elderberry. This recommendation applies to marketing claims for three products: Extra Strength Elderberry...

Read the Decision Summary
Decision

In Two Fast-Track SWIFT Cases, National Advertising Division Recommends Advertiser Claims be Discontinued in One, Modification of Disclosures in Other

New York, NY – June 28, 2022 – The National Advertising Division (NAD) of BBB National Programs closed two Fast-Track SWIFT cases in May 2022. In these cases, AT&T Services, Inc. challenged Charter Communications, Inc.’s (Spectrum) claim that AT&T’s internet service provides...

Read the Decision Summary
Decision

National Advertising Division Finds Challenged DuckDuckGo Privacy Claims Supported; Recommends Clarifications for Use of App

New York, NY – June 23, 2022 – The National Advertising Division (NAD) determined that DuckDuckGo provided a reasonable basis for certain claims related to its Privacy Browser mobile app and Privacy Essentials desktop extension. 

Read the Decision Summary