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GILLETTE SERIES CLEARGEL ANTIPERSPIRANT, DEODORANT CLAIMS SUBSTANTIATED

This article was originally published in The Tan Sheet

Executive Summary

GILLETTE SERIES CLEARGEL ANTIPERSPIRANT, DEODORANT CLAIMS SUBSTANTIATED by the company, the National Advertising Division (NAD) of the Council of Better Business Bureaus said in its November Case Report. Based on a review of company data submitted to support print advertising for the recently introduced line of men's antiperspirants and deodorants, NAD concluded that "the advertiser's tests for efficacy and preference provided objective criteria that supported its claims of superiority." The claims at issue were: "Gillette Series ClearGel Antiperspirant is a revolutionary new form of protection -- a clear, powerful gel delivered through the Micro-Smooth grid applicator"; "There's Gillette Series ClearGel Deodorant, too. The best deodorant protection ever" and "Gillette technology has created advanced deodorant and antiperspirant sticks. So effective men prefer them over the leading stick." NAD said the claims came to its attention through its routine monitoring program. Gillette pointed to the products' clear gel formula and grid applicator to substantiate the "revolutionary new form of protection" claim. The company maintained that the Series ClearGel antiperspirants, which were launched in January, are the first such products on the market and required the development of a novel manufacturing process, according to NAD. One of the benefits of a clear gel formula is that the antiperspirant does not leave a white residue on clothing like other solid antiperspirants, according to Gillette. The company also pointed out that the formula allows for the use of aluminum chlorohydrate (ACH) as the deodorant active ingredient, as opposed to triclosan, the most commonly used deodorant active ingredient. Gillette added that the products' Micro-Smooth Grid Applicator, which enables consumers to control the amount of product dispensed, has been patented by the company. To support its "best deodorant ever" claim, Gillette submitted the results of several two-week clinical studies involving 60 male participants. The studies evaluated and compared the Gillette Series ClearGel Deodorant with leading stick, pump and aerosol deodorants. In support of the preference claim for the Gillette Series Antiperspirant and Deodorant sticks in comparison with the market leaders, Gillette submitted the results of a four-week, blind monadic home-use test of 876 users of either antiperspirants or stick deodorants. Participants were interviewed after two weeks of using the Gillette product and two weeks using the market leader. NAD said it "agrees that the Gillette ClearGel Antiperspirant and deodorant emulsion, combined with sufficient levels of active ingredients for wetness and odor prevention, is unique in the product industry and can, indeed, be distinguished from its competitors." Moreover, NAD continued, "it has been demonstrated that this technological innovation provides a material benefit to the consumer by not leaving flaky, white residue on body and clothes." NAD also said that the "chemical combination used to produce a clear and effective antiperspirant, dispensed via a Micro-Smooth grid applicator, provides a tangible improvement over other solid antiperspirants and, as such, NAD holds that the advertiser has substantiated the first claim at issue." With regard to the deodorant comparison study, NAD said it "believes that the submitted test was reliable and unbiased and that the advertiser provided a reasonable basis in substantiating its superiority claim." The blind preference test was "properly conducted and [included] a fair representation of antiperspirant/deodorant users," NAD said. "Accordingly, NAD holds that the advertiser substantiated its comparative preference claim as against the leading stick deodorant and antiperspirant."
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