New York, NY – Sept. 20, 2016 – A panel of the National Advertising Review Board (NARB) has recommended that Rust-Oleum Corporation discontinue use of “2X” as part of the Painter’s Touch Ultra Cover product name.
NARB is the appellate unit of the advertising industry’s system of self-regulation and administered by the Council of Better Business Bureaus.
Advertising claims made by Rust-Oleum were initially challenged before the National Advertising Division (NAD) by The Sherwin Williams Company, a competing manufacturer of spray paint products.
Challenged claims included:
- “Ultra Cover 2X” (appearing as part of product name)
- “Made with Double Cover Technology”
- “Twice the coverage”
- “You’ll get twice the coverage in a single pass”
- “2X double the square foot coverage of other competitive brands”
- “Delivers twice the coverage as other competitive brands”
- “2X’s formulation contains more solids and premium pigments”
- Visual showing one can = two cans
- Visual showing “Brand K” achieving in two passes what Painter’s Touch Ultra Cover 2X achieves in one pass
Following its review, NAD recommended that the challenged 2X coverage claims, including the product name, and visuals, be discontinued. NAD also recommended that Rust-Oleum discontinue its “more solids and pigments” claim. Rust-Oleum agreed to accept NAD’s recommendations except for the recommendation that Rust-Oleum change its product name, which Rust-Oleum appealed.
In previous cases, NAD has indicated it would not recommend a product name change unless there was extrinsic evidence of consumer confusion, or the product name made an express claim which conveyed an unsupported message.
In this case, there was no extrinsic evidence of consumer confusion with respect to the challenged product name. However, the NAD determined that the product name was an express performance claim that Painter’s Touch Ultra Cover 2X delivers twice the coverage of competing brands.
The panel agreed with NAD that the product’s original name – Painter’s Touch Ultra Cover 2X – and current name – Painter’s Touch 2X Ultra Cover – reasonably conveyed a performance claim that the product delivers twice the coverage of other spray paint products.
While Rust-Oleum argued that reasonable consumers could interpret “2X Ultra Cover” or “Ultra Cover 2X” as indicating something other than a claim that the product delivers twice the coverage as other products, the panel concluded that a double coverage performance claim is the natural reading of the product name.
Because the record did not show that Rust-Oleum’s Painter’s Touch 2X Ultra Cover spray paint delivers twice the coverage of other spray paints, the panel recommended that Rust-Oleum discontinue use of “2X” as part of the Painter’s Touch Ultra Cover product name.
Rust-Oleum took issue with NARB’s decision, but noted in its advertiser’s statement that “as a supporter of voluntary industry self-regulation, Rust-Oleum will take the Panel’s recommendations into consideration in formulating product labeling and advertising.”
Note: A recommendation by NARB 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 NARB not to endorse any company, product, or service. Decisions finding that advertising claims have been substantiated should not be construed as endorsements.