The National Advertising Division (NAD) of the Council of Better Business Bureaus has recommended that Kimberly-Clark Corp. discontinue advertising claims that state its Huggies brand diapers provide “unbeatable” leak protection and “nothing stops leaks better.”
NAD, the advertising industry’s self-regulatory forum, examined the performance claims, following a challenge by Procter & Gamble Company, the manufacturer of competing Pampers products.
NAD noted in its decision that the key evidence submitted in support of the claims was the result of home-use testing conducted from 2006-2008 on various Huggies and Pampers products. NAD determined that the test methodology provided appropriate sample size, geographic diversity, length of study, and use of a diary questionnaire to assess which diapers leaked and where.
However, NAD noted that it was troubled that the home-use testing did not include either the advertiser’s Luvs brand diapers or private-label diapers—which together account for a significant portion of the market—or certain Huggies products on which the claims at issue were featured. NAD further noted that it was uncontested that certain of the challenger’s products have undergone design changes and that some of the advertiser’s products have been replaced by others. Finally, NAD noted that it was troubled by the statistical analysis of the test results.
Following its review, NAD determined that the evidence in the record was not sufficient to support the challenged broad and unqualified claims made regarding leakage and recommended that the claims be discontinued.
Kimberly-Clark, in its advertiser’s statement, said the company respectfully disagrees with NAD’s findings. “However, notwithstanding our disagreement, Kimberly-Clark supports the self-regulatory process and appreciates the NAD’s efforts to resolve this matter. We will take the NAD’s recommendations into account in developing future advertising,” the company said.