National Advertising Review Board recommends that Unilever USA discontinue use of barbed wire in imagery of competing products, says imagery conveys message that competing body washes are abrasive and/or will cause noticeable skin damage

, January 24, 2014 () – A five-member panel of the National Advertising Review Board (NARB) has recommended that Unilever United States Inc, discontinue certain advertising claims for the company's "Dove Deep Moisture Body Wash," and discontinue the use of barbed wire in imagery of competing products. The Dial Corporation, a Henkel company, had challenged claims made by Unilever before the National Advertising Division (NAD), an investigative unit of the advertising industry's system of self-regulation, administered by the Council of Better Business Bureaus. Challenged claims appeared at the product website and Facebook page and on its YouTube channel. Unilever appealed all of NAD's findings to the NARB. Following its review of the advertising, the NARB determined that labelling other body washes as "harsh," in the context of the challenged advertisements, reasonably conveyed a message that some competing body washes are abrasive and/or will cause noticeable damage to the skin. The panel noted that testing conducted by Unilever, which compared the mildness of Dove Deep moisture to a representative sample of competing body washes, showed that Dove Deep Moisture was milder than most body washes but did not indicate that the less mild body washes were "harsh." Some of the challenged advertisements displayed a competing body wash container surrounded by barbed wire. The panel determined that the test paper did not accurately simulate the composition of real skin and did not appropriately simulate actual consumer use of body washes. In addition, the panel found that the reliability of the test results was called into question by the fact that they were inconsistent with some of the other testing submitted by Unilever. Regarding moisturization claims, the panel noted that Unilever primarily relied on Leg Controlled Application Technique testing to determine relative moisturization potential. The LCAT test methodology called for two daily wash sessions conducted 3-4 hours apart. However, the record showed that the vast majority of consumers take no more than one shower each day, indicating that the LCAT test was conducted under conditions that did not represent ordinary consumer use of body wash. Following its review, the panel recommended that Unilever discontinue claims that competing body washes are "harsh," and also recommended that Unilever discontinue use of barbed wire and steel wool images with respect to competing body washes. The panel recommended that Unilever discontinue the challenged videos purporting to show a side-by-side test of Dove Deep Moisture and competing body washes. Finally, the panel recommended that Unilever discontinue its "proven best care" claims for Dove Deep Moisture. Original Source: National Advertising Review Board, 2014. Found on website:

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