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, NAD/CARU Reports (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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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: The National Advertising Review Board (NARB) is the appellate body for BBB National Programs’ advertising self-regulatory programs. NARB’s panel members include 85 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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