The NAD today recommended P&G drop the ad, saying the claim had been substantiated in comparison to previous Always products but not in comparison to competitive products. Rival Kimberly-Clark Corp., marketer of Kotex, brought the issue to the NAD.
To appeal findings
A P&G spokeswoman said P&G already
The ad is among factors that helped reverse a two-year decline in market share for the category-leading Always brand. It was created last year by Publicis Groupe's D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, New York, but the account has shifted to Publicis sibling Leo Burnett USA, Chicago, following the holding company's decision last year to close D'Arcy.
The NAD recommended P&G more clearly disclose on its packaging that the "five times" claim applies only to previous Always products. But in an interview earlier this month, Melanie Healey, vice president and general manager of P&G's North American feminine care business, said the claim applies both to previous Always products and to competitive products.
'Unequivocal scientific proof'
"Our researchers presented unequivocal scientific proof that new Always Ultra Thin is cleaner and drier than our largest competitor and also showed conclusive feedback from consumer tests," a spokeswoman said.
P&G also faces charges by rival Playtex Products that advertising from Burnett for Tampax Pearl tampons is misleading. A hearing is set for March 24 on a motion for preliminary injunction in Playtex's false advertising lawsuit against P&G in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. P&G has said the suit lacks merit and that claims in Tampax ads are fully substantiated.