NAD Finds Reckitt Benckiser Can Support Value Claim for Finish Quantum, but Recommended Advertiser Discontinue ‘Unbeatable Clean’ Claim

New York, NY – April 4, 2018 – The National Advertising Division has determined that Reckitt Benckiser LLC, can support certain value claims made for the company’s Finish Quantum dishwasher detergent, but recommended the company discontinue its “unbeatable clean” claims.

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, made in broadcast, print and internet advertising, were challenged by The Procter & Gamble Company. P&G challenged express claims that included:

  • “[Finish Quantum offers an] Unbeatable Clean*”
    • “vs. Leading Premium Detergent Tab”; “vs. Cascade Platinum”
  • “So many good times, so many dirty dishes.  Tackle them all with Finish Quantum.  Even on the toughest messes, Finish Quantum gives you an unbeatable clean.”
  • “[Finish Quantum offers] 25% More Loads**”
  • “**Based on Retail Pack Size Comparison of Finish® Quantum Max® and Leading Premium Detergent Tab”; “Based on Retail Pack Size Comparison of Finish® Quantum Max® and Cascade Platinum”
    • “And now, get 25% more loads than Cascade Platinum”
  • “25% more loads based on retail pack size comparison of Finish® Quantum Max® and Cascade Platinum”
    • “The Choice is Clear [between Cascade Platinum and Finish Quantum]”
    • “The choice is clear; switch to Finish Quantum”

NAD also considered whether the advertising implied that Finish Quantum Max is superior to Cascade Platinum.

NAD noted in its decision that superiority claims made on a comparative context are best supported by head-to-head testing. However, NAD said, other testing may be sufficient to support a parity claim as long as it is methodologically sound and elicits statistically significant and consumer relevant.

In this case, it was undisputed that there is no industry standard test protocol to test dishwashing products. The advertiser submitted the results of three tests: IKW Testing, CRS Expert Panel Testing and 9/10 Expert Panel Testing.

NAD determined that the “unbeatable clean” claim was one of parity on the toughest messes.  NAD reviewed the advertiser’s tests and the results, considering factors that included the specifics of the soil types, the quality of the water, the number of dishwashers employed in the testing and the consumer relevance of the tests.  Following its review, NAD determined that the evidence was not sufficiently reliable to support the challenged “unbeatable clean” claim and recommended that it be discontinued.

NAD determined that “25% More Loads” in the context of the challenged advertisements reasonably communicated a value claim – that consumers get more loads for less money with one pack of Finish Quantum Max versus one pack of Cascade Platinum.

RB proposed to modify the disclosure that qualified the basis of the 25% more loads claim (“**Based on Retail Pack Size Comparison of Finish Quantum Max and Leading Premium Detergent Tab”; “Based on Retail Pack Size Comparison of Finish Quantum Max and Cascade Platinum”). This voluntarily modified disclosure will be treated, for compliance purposes, as though NAD recommended their modification and the advertiser agreed to comply.   In support of the challenged 25% more loads claim, RB provided a comparison of the number of Finish tabs included in the varied sizes of retail packs available. NAD noted that RB’s retail packs include between 25% and 41% more individual tabs than Cascade’s retail packs.  NAD determined that RB could support the claim “25% more loads.”

NAD recommended that the claim “The Choice Is Clear” be modified to limit it to a value proposition for consumers in connection with the claim “25% more loads.”

RB said in its advertiser’s statement that the company would comply with NAD’s recommendations.

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.