National Advertising Review Board Recommends Johnson & Johnson Discontinue “#1 Dermatologist Recommended Skincare Brand” Claim for Neutrogena

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

703-247-9330 / press@bbbnp.org

New York, NY – October 20, 2021 – A panel of the National Advertising Review Board (NARB), the appellate advertising law body of BBB National Programs, has recommended that Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. (JJCI) discontinue the claim that its Neutrogena brand is the “#1 Dermatologist Recommended Skincare Brand.” 

The advertising at issue had been challenged by L’Oréal USA, Inc. before BBB National Programs’ National Advertising Division (NAD). Following NAD’s decision (Case No. 6926), JJCI appealed NAD’s recommendation to discontinue the claim “#1 Dermatologist Recommended Skincare Brand,” as well as NAD’s determination that the challenge was not foreclosed by NAD’s prior decision in Neutrogena Corporation (Neutrogena Products), Report #4881(July 2008).

Regarding the jurisdictional issue, the NARB panel concluded that NAD is in a better position to resolve issues regarding the interpretation of NAD procedural rules. Further, the panel agreed with NAD’s conclusion that an NAD review conducted more than a decade ago should not preclude a truth-in-advertising evaluation of a similar claim today given the dynamic nature of the OTC skincare market, such as new product innovations and the possibility that dermatologist preferences have evolved or shifted. 

The NARB panel determined that the Ipsos survey, relied on by JJCI, did not provide adequate support for JJCI’s “#1 Dermatologist Recommended Skincare Brand” claim and recommended that it be discontinued. The panel had concerns about several survey-design issues, including questions addressing the use in the survey of certain umbrella categories such as body moisturizers, as well as the degree of overlap in the categories without any instructions to the dermatologists to avoid double counting.

JJCI stated that it “will comply with NARB’s recommendation that it discontinue its claim” that Neutrogena is the “#1 Dermatologist Recommended Skincare Brand.” The advertiser further stated that it “disagrees that the 2020 Ipsos survey methodology did not provide adequate support” for the claim.” 

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.

 

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