NAD Recommends Reckitt Benckiser Discontinue Certain Claims for the Company’s Amopé GelActiv Insoles; Finds Certain Claims Supported

New York, NY – July 20, 2017  – The National Advertising Division has recommended that Reckitt Benckiser LLC discontinue claims that the company’s Amopé GelActiv Insoles offer “improved comfort” to women wearing high heels, but found that the claims “Heels Hurt. Amopé turns heels into sneakers,” and “Almost invisible” were non-actionable puffery.

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 in this case were challenged by Bayer HealthCare, LLC, the maker of Dr. Scholl’s, a competing brand of shoe insole products.

During the course of the NAD proceeding, the advertiser advised NAD in writing that it would permanently discontinue the following express and implied claims, which had appeared in broadcast advertising.

  • Amopé insoles are “25% thinner” than “Dr. Scholl’s insole”
  • “GelActiv insoles [vs.] Dr. Scholl’s insole*”
  • “Amopé  GelActiv Everyday Heel Insole vs. Dr. Scholl’s Dream Walk High Heel Insole”
  • All Amopé GelActiv insoles are superior to all Dr. Scholl’s insoles

NAD, relying on the advertiser’s representation, did not review these claims on their merits.  However, NAD noted, the voluntarily discontinued claims will be treated, for compliance purposes, as though NAD recommended their discontinuance and the advertiser agreed to comply.

Turning its attention to the remaining claims, NAD determined that the following claims were supported by the evidence in the record:

  • “New GelActiv Insoles.  Made with UltraThin Concentrated Gel.”
  • “They fit even slender shoes.”

However, NAD took issue with the claim “Improved Comfort.”  As NAD noted in its decision, comfort is a measurable attribute and testing is required to support even stand-alone performance claims.

In support of claims that its GelActiv Insoles improve foot comfort, the advertiser relied on technical testing, which NAD determined was not a good fit to assess a subjective attribute (foot comfort), and consumer use testing, which NAD found to be flawed.

Following its review of the evidence in the record, NAD recommended that the advertiser discontinue the claim “Improved Comfort, as well as the YouTube commercial in which the claim appears which continued to air during the pendency of the challenge despite the advertiser’s assurance that it had been discontinued.

Although NAD determined that the claim “they fit even slender shoes” is substantiated, NAD cautioned the advertiser to avoid connecting the fit of the insoles to shoe comfort.

Reckitt Benckiser, in its advertiser’s statement, said the company agrees to 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.