Procter & Gamble Discontinues Claim that “One Bottle of Dawn Ultra [Dish Soap] has the Grease-Cleaning Power of Three Bottles of [Ajax Ultra]”

New York, NY – Feb. 26, 2019 – The Procter & Gamble Company elected to permanently discontinue its claim that One Bottle of Dawn Ultra has the Grease-Cleaning Power of Three Bottles of Ajax Ultra [“this other liquid”] following a challenge by Colgate-Palmolive Company before the National Advertising Division.

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

The challenged claims included:

Express Claims:

  • “One bottle [of Dawn Ultra] has the grease-cleaning power of three bottles of this other liquid.”

Implied Claims:

  • One bottle of P&G’s Dawn Ultra dish soap is equal to, or as efficient as, three bottles of Colgate-Palmolive’s Ajax Ultra dish soap.
  • P&G’s Dawn Ultra dish soap is three-times better than Colgate-Palmolive’s Ajax Ultra dish soap.
  • P&G’s Dawn Ultra dish soap can clean three times the number of dishes (e.g., plates, bowls, pots, and pans) as Colgate-Palmolive’s Ajax Ultra dish soap.
  • One bottle of P&G’s Dawn Ultra dish soap can clean the same number of dishes (e.g., plates, bowls, pots, and pans) as three bottles of Colgate-Palmolive’s Ajax Ultra.
  • P&G’s Dawn Ultra Soap is three-times better at cleaning tough messes, like baked-on, burnt-on food, than Colgate-Palmolive’s Ajax Ultra dish soap.
  • One bottle of P&G’s Dawn Ultra dish soap has the same ability to clean tough messes, like baked-on, burnt-on food, as three bottles of Colgate-Palmolive’s Ajax Ultra.

According to the challenger, the advertiser disseminated false and misleading claims about its Dawn Ultra dish in television, online and in-store advertising that one bottle of its Dawn Ultra dish soap is as effective as—and will clean the same amount as—three bottles of Colgate-Palmolive’s Ajax Ultra dish soap.

During the course of the inquiry, the advertiser informed NAD in writing that the challenged “1=3” claim (one bottle of Dawn Ultra has the grease-cleaning power of three bottles of Ajax Ultra) is being permanently discontinued and that advertising materials bearing different claims are currently being disseminated.

In reliance on the advertiser’s representation that the challenged claims have been permanently discontinued, NAD did not review these claims on their merits. The voluntarily discontinued claims will be treated, for compliance purposes, as though NAD recommended their discontinuance and the advertiser agreed to comply.

In its advertiser’s statement The Procter & Gamble Company stated that it agrees to comply with NAD’s recommendations to discontinue the challenged claim(s). P&G added that it remains a strong supporter of the industry self-regulatory process and thanked NAD for its time and attention.

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