NAD Refers ‘Dutch Glow’ Maker SAS Group to FTC after Advertiser Fails to Comply with NAD Decision

New York, NY – Dec. 21, 2015 – The National Advertising Division has referred advertising by SAS Group, Inc., the maker of Dutch Glow Amish Wood Milk Furniture Cleaner & Polish, to the Federal Trade Commission for further review after finding that the advertiser did not make a bona fide effort to comply with an earlier NAD decision.

In its  October 2015 decision, NAD recommended that SAS Group discontinue advertising claims, “before and after” photographs and product demonstrations that were challenged by S.C. Johnson and Son, Inc. NAD further recommended that the company modify or discontinue its “100% Money Back. Guaranteed” claim.

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

In the underlying case, NAD examined claims that included:

  • “Crafty chemical companies have deceived us for generations. Once you start using their furniture polishes, you have to keep adding more and more layers just to create a false shine.”
  • “We cleaned half of this dining room table with Dutch Glow and broke open a down pillow to prove Dutch Glow does not attract dust like other products.”
  • “When you use Dutch Glow, you’ll clean less often.”
  • “The simple ingredients in Dutch Glow break down years of wax buildup. . .”
  • “Before” and “after” photographs
  • Comparative product demonstrations
  • “100% Money Back. Guaranteed.”
  • “Buy 1, Get 1. Now Only $10 Plus S&P.”

SAS took issue with NAD’s findings, but said that it “remains committed to the self-regulatory process, and will take the NAD’s recommendations regarding independent testing to support product performance claims and the NAD’s other recommendations into consideration in developing future advertising.”

Shortly after the issuance of NAD’s decision, the challenger informed NAD that the advertiser had not modified any of the challenged claims, “before and after” photographs or product demonstrations on its website, in broadcast advertising or on its product packaging.

In response to NAD’s compliance inquiry, the company stated that it had completed the process of revising it broadcast and Internet advertising for its Dutch Glow, pursuant to the results of product testing it commissioned after NAD’s initial review. The advertiser also said it has modified the disclosures regarding shipping and processing charges.

In its compliance decision, NAD noted that “once an advertiser agrees to modify its advertising in accordance with NAD’s recommendations, it is incumbent on the advertiser to undertake the modifications as expeditiously as possible.  In addition, if the challenged claims appear on product packaging, the advertiser cannot continue to produce product packaging with the offending claims after it has agreed to modify or discontinue them.”

NAD further noted that an advertiser is not relieved of its obligation to comply with NAD’s recommendations as quickly as possible simply because it is waiting for the results of product testing to support future advertising claims.

NAD determined that advertiser’s website was essentially unchanged except for a mice-type disclosure at the bottom of the home page relating to the “Buy One, Get One Free” offer, a claim the advertiser agreed to discontinue. The challenged television commercial also continued to air on YouTube and the advertiser failed to confirm whether it ceased producing product packaging with the challenged product performance claims and “before and after” photographs.

Given the advertiser’s failure to comply, NAD has referred the advertising at issue to the FTC for further review.

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.