NARB Recommends P&G Discontinue Claim that Tide purclean has “4x Cleaning Power”

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

703-247-9330 / press@bbbnp.org

New York, NY – November 18, 2020 – A panel of the National Advertising Review Board (NARB), the appellate advertising law body of BBB National Programs, has recommended that The Procter & Gamble Company (P&G) discontinue the claim that Tide purclean has “4x Cleaning Power of [comparator product].” The advertising at issue, as well as other claims, had been challenged by Seventh Generation Company before the National Advertising Division (NAD). Following NAD’s decision (Cases No. 6392), P&G appealed NAD’s recommendation that it discontinue the “4x Cleaning Power” claim.

The NARB panel determined that the claim “4x the cleaning power of [a detergent tested, such as Purex Natural Elements]” is not supported because the “4x the cleaning power of” comparison is ambiguous and could communicate several messages to the reasonable consumer for which the advertiser offered no support. The panel also considered the sufficiency of the disclaimers used by P&G on the Tide purclean package and website and concluded that they do not clear up the confusing nature of the 4x comparison.

With regard to the ASTM testing, the panel concluded that P&G failed to establish the consumer relevance of the 4x comparison because its consumer research did not show how often consumers who either use, or are interested in using, plant-based detergents would likely use a quadruple dose. The panel also accepted the challenger’s argument that P&G’s testing data did not comply with ASTM standards by departing in a material way from the recommended usage of the comparator detergent, without a sufficient justification for this departure. Accordingly, the panel found that the results of P&G’s ASTM testing is not proper substantiation for its 4x comparison.

P&G stated that it will comply with NARB’s recommendation. Although P&G expressed disappointment with certain aspects of the panel’s decision, it stated that it will nonetheless “take NARB’s guidance into account when formulating claims for Tide purclean in this category.”

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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 Review Board (NARB): The National Advertising Review Board (NARB) is the appellate body for BBB National Programs’ advertising self-regulatory programs. NARB’s panel members include 87 distinguished volunteer professionals from the national advertising industry, agencies, and public members, such as academics and former members of the public sector. NARB serves as a layer of independent industry peer review that helps engender trust and compliance in NAD, CARU, and DSSRC matters. 

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