National Advertising Division Recommends WaterWipes Discontinue “#1 Wipes Against the Causes of Diaper Rash” Claims for Infant Cleansing Wipes

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

703.247.9330 / press@bbbnp.org

New York, NY – March 2, 2022 – The National Advertising Division (NAD) of BBB National Programs recommended that WaterWipes discontinue claims stating:

  • WaterWipes is the “#1 wipe against the causes of diaper rash”
  • WaterWipes are the “#1 cleansing wipes helping against the causes of diaper rash”
  • “It’s official, we’re clinically proven as the #1 wipe against the cause of diaper rash”

 

These claims, which appeared on the advertiser’s website and social media channels, were challenged by Kimberly-Clark Corporation, maker of competing cleansing wipes for infants. 

As support for its claims, the advertiser relied on the results of its “Baby Skin Integrity Comparison Survey” (BaSICS Study), which was designed to compare three different brands of baby wipes using parental observations of the incidence of diaper rash in infants from birth to eight weeks of age.

In considering whether the BaSICS Study was sufficiently reliable evidence to support the challenged claims, NAD expressed several concerns with its methodology, including that:

  • The study universe was too narrow to support the broad #1 claims;
  • The study’s failure to attempt to control for the use of skin creams and lotions to treat infants with diaper rash, which could significantly impact the role of the wipes in preventing diaper rash; and
  • The study did not attempt to blind the branding and marketing on the packaging itself, which could have biased the survey participants’ responses.

 

NAD determined that the study does not provide adequate substantiation for the broad superiority claims or the establishment claim at issue in this challenge.

NAD noted that broad superiority claims such as a “#1 claim” require strong support, while a “clinically proven” claim requires reliable and well-controlled clinical testing on the advertised product. While the advertiser is free to tout the efficaciousness of its wipes generally, NAD recommended that the challenged claims be discontinued given its concerns with the reliability of the BaSICS Study. 

In its advertiser statement, WaterWipes stated that while it “respects the self-regulatory process, it is disappointed with the NAD’s conclusion that the ‘#1 wipes against diaper rash’ and ‘clinically proven’ statements used in its US advertisements are not supported by the BaSICS study.” The advertiser stated that “nevertheless, in the interest of supporting self-regulation, WaterWipes will make modifications to the impugned claims as necessary to comply with the NAD’s recommendation.”

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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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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