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S. C. JOHNSON CUREL "ENDS DRY SKIN" CLAIM WILL BE DISCONTINUED

Executive Summary

S. C. JOHNSON CUREL "ENDS DRY SKIN" CLAIM WILL BE DISCONTINUED, the firm told the Natl. Advertising Div. (NAD) of the Council of Better Business Bureaus after NAD questioned whether the claim overstated the product's perceived benefits. NAD noted in the April 15 issue of the NAD Case Report that S. C. Johnson dis-agreed with NAD's doubts about the accuracy of the statement that Curel "ends dry skin." However, NAD said "the advertiser . . . agrees in a spirit of cooperation to refrain from further placement of the current advertising and to take NAD's concerns under consideration in the future." The dry skin claim was included in a television ad comparing Curel to Westwood Pharmaceuticals' Keri lotion. NAD said Westwood "challenged the comparative performance claims and questioned whether any cosmetic skin lotion can justifiably claim that it 'ends dry skin.'" NAD said that as principal support for the comparative claims, S. C. Johnson "provided two blind consumer-use tests in which panelists used Curel and Keri lotions sequentially and reported their impressions to telephone interviewers." In addition, NAD noted that S. C. Johnson "provided studies conducted under clinical supervision, one a comparative test of the products applied daily for one week followed by a regression period, the second a four week monadic test to establish the basic efficacy of Curel to eliminate the signs of dry skin." NAD said it "agreed the combined results of the tests substantiated the various claims that consumers preferred Curel over Keri." However, NAD said it noted "a significant minority of respondents in the preference surveys did not agree that Curel ended their dry skin conditions." In addition, "at the end of the monadic clinical test lasting four weeks, expert graders detected some degree of dryness on what, in NAD's opinion, constituted a substantial minority of the treated hands and legs," the division stated. S. C. Johnson maintained that the "ends dry skin" claim was "not an absolute statement" and that its studies "verified that consumers understood [the claim] to include the concept of regular use," which was included in the ad.
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