NAD Examines Claims for JJCI Sunscreen Product; Recommends Advertiser Discontinue Certain Claims, Finds Certain Claims Supported

New York, NY – March 24, 2017 – The National Advertising Division has recommended that Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc., modify or discontinue certain claims made in print and broadcast advertising for its Neutrogena UltraSheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen SPF 100+ to avoid conveying a line claim. NAD also recommended the company discontinue claims that “no other sunscreen … feels better” and “best feeling sunscreen ever.”

NAD also determined that JJCI established a reasonable basis for parity sun protection claims, including “unbeatable protection,” “unbeatable UVA/UVB protection,” and “no other sunscreen  . . . works better,” with respect to its SPF 100+ product.

NAD is an investigative unit of the advertising industry’s system of self-regulation. It is administered by the Council of Better Business Bureaus.

The claims at issue were challenged by Bayer Healthcare LLC, which manufactures Coppertone sun care products.

  • “Best feeling sunscreen ever.”
  • “Unbeatable UVA/UVB protection.”
  • “No other sunscreen works better or feels better.”
  • “Clinically proven helioplex formula provides unbeatable UVA/UVB protection.”
  • “Unbeatable protection.”
  • “It’s the one, best for your skin.”

A key issue before NAD was whether the challenged advertisements communicated to consumers that the challenged comparative claims apply to the entire Neutrogena UltraSheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen product line, which is available in multiple SPF levels.

Bayer contended that the commercial and print advertisement did communicate a line claim. JJCI argued that the ads prominently featured only one product – Neutrogena UltraSheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen SPF 100+ – and did not make a line claim.

Following its review, NAD determined that consumers could reasonably take away the message that the claims “no other sunscreen works better or feels better,” and “clinically proven Helioplex formula provides unbeatable UVA/UVB protection” did refer to the entire Neutrogena UltraSheer Dry-Touch sunscreen product line. NAD recommended that the parity sun protection claims in the television commercial and print advertisement either be discontinued or modified to avoid conveying a line claim.

NAD determined that the claim “it’s the one, best for your skin,” as it appears within the context of the challenged television commercial, is puffery.

NAD also concluded that JJCI established a reasonable basis for claims that its SPF 100+ product provides “unbeatable protection,” “unbeatable UVA/UVB protection” and “no other sunscreen … works better.”

Finally, NAD determined that, as it appears within the context of the advertisement as a whole, one reasonable takeaway of the claim “best feeling sunscreen ever” claim is an objective representation regarding the tangible feel of Neutrogena UltraSheer SPF 100+ lotion (as well as the Neutrogena UltraSheer Dry Touch product line) as compared to competing products.

The claim is not puffery, as JJCI argued, but a claim that the product is

objectively and measurably better than its competitors with respect to the specific product attribute of “feel.”

In the absence of substantiation based on head-to-head testing, NAD recommended JJCI discontinue its superior “feel” claims, including “no other sunscreen … feels better” and “best feeling sunscreen ever.”

JJCI, agreed in its advertiser’s statement, to comply with NAD’s recommendations. JJCI took issue with certain of NAD’s findings, but said it would “take NAD’s guidance into account in designing tests for future advertising. JJCI appreciates the opportunity to participate in the NAD’s self-regulatory process.”

Note: A recommendation by NAD to modify or discontinue a claim is not a finding of wrongdoing and an advertiser’s voluntary discontinuance or modification of claims should not be construed as an admission of impropriety. It is the policy of NAD not to endorse any company, product, or service. Decisions finding that advertising claims have been substantiated should not be construed as endorsements.