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J&J "BEST RELIEF UNDER THE SUN" AD CLAIM FOR NO MORE BURN SPRAY

This article was originally published in The Tan Sheet

Executive Summary

J&J "BEST RELIEF UNDER THE SUN" AD CLAIM FOR NO MORE BURN SPRAY is found to be unsubstantiated by the National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus following a review initiated by the ad watchdog group. According to an Aug. 24 case report, NAD investigated three advertising claims made by Johnson & Johnson Consumer Products for its No More Burn Pain Relieving Antiseptic Spray, and found that two claims were substantiated while the "best relief under the sun" claim was not. J&J responded that "NAD's one concern will be taken into account as new advertising is developed" for the product. New York City- based Lintas handles the No More Burn account. NAD noted in the case report that it did not find "generally accepted scientific information" to substantiate the superiority claim that No More Burn, which contains 2.3% lidocaine HCl and .13% benzethonium chloride, is "the best relief under the sun." Although J&J "did emphasize the product's positive features including the well-recognized active ingredients, the convenient spray pump, and the child-friendly decorative labeling," NAD said, "it offered no evidence to support that this product is indeed better for the relief of sunburn than other products." In response to the NAD inquiry, J&J said that the "best relief under the sun" claim is based partly on the product's pump spray, which "eliminates the need to touch the [sunburned] skin," the case report states. The company also asserted that, according to qualitative research, the "child-friendly graphics on the product help soothe the child's fears of treatment . . . and make the child more approachable and more tolerant of treatment." NAD reviewed two additional advertising claims made by J&J for No More Burn and found them to be substantiated. The claims are: "There's no quicker way to make her sunburn and other minor burns feel all better fast"; and "the friendly, non-aerosol pump spray lets you gently mist on the relief without touching the burn, for less squirming and more smiles." In defense of the two claims, J&J explained that No More Burn is "fast-acting" because the lidocaine and benzethonium are "dissolved in a hydroalcoholic topical solution, thereby minimizing the rate-limiting effect of other vehicles," the case report states. The claim that there is "less squirming" with No More Burn, the company continued, is based on the pump-spray mechanism which is "preferred by consumers because they can administer it without having to rub or touch the child's burn." After reviewing these arguments, NAD found that "the scientific explanation that [J&J] provided was sufficient to support the claim of product performance." J&J was also able to substantiate two claims made for its No More Itchies Anti-Itch Pump Spray following an NAD inquiry. Lintas also handles advertising for No More Itchies. Supporting its No More Itchies claim that "there's no quicker way to relieve your child's itches from things like bug bites and poison ivy," J&J maintained that the hydrocortisone active ingredient is a "well-recognized anti-pruritic agent" and is "contained in a hydroalcoholic solution, which allows for faster action by minimizing the rate-limiting effect that can occur with a cream-like vehicle," NAD said in the report. Regarding a claim that "unlike messy creams and ointments, the non-aerosol pump spray means no more squirming because you don't touch the itchy bite or rash," J&J outlined that the pump spray "provides a mechanism that enables the adult to administer the medication to the affected area without the inconvenience and discomfort of rubbing it onto what is already a sensitive area of the skin," the case report states. To further support the "no more squirming" claim, J&J cited "independent research" that revealed that "children, for fear of hurting, resist being touched on irritated areas of their skin." J&J found that "57% of 149 [interviewed] consumers voluntarily responded that they liked the convenience of a spray, and 23% specifically mentioned the benefit of avoiding contact with the child's wounded skin," NAD summarized in the report. Based on these arguments, NAD determined that both claims for No More Itchies were "sufficiently substantiated," with the "parity claim 'there's no quicker way to relieve your child's itches'" being justified by the "liquid medium" of the active ingredient and the pump spray mechanism. NAD concluded that regarding the second claim, "which clearly compares the spray product to creams and ointments," J&J sufficiently explained why the product is "more acceptable to children and more convenient for adults." Claims for both No More Burn and No More Itchies came to NAD's attention through the advertising watchdog group's monitoring program. NAD initiated the inquiries via a June 14 letter to J&J.
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