NAD releases claim determinations for P&G brand Native in response to SC Johnson challenge

By Cassandra Stern

- Last updated on GMT

“Advertisers have the responsibility to provide truthful information that can be verified through reliable scientific methods," NAD's press release reported. © Charday Penn Getty Images
“Advertisers have the responsibility to provide truthful information that can be verified through reliable scientific methods," NAD's press release reported. © Charday Penn Getty Images

Related tags P&g Sc johnson Advertising Personal care

Procter & Gamble's Native brand will comply with NAD's recommendations following the organization's findings that some of the brand's advertising claims were misleading while others were substantiated.

The National Advertising Division (NAD) of BBB National Programs has released its findings on claims made by Procter & Gamble’s Native brand of personal care products. The review was initiated by a challenge from SC Johnson & Son Inc. (SCJ), the maker of Method products, targeting various claims on Native’s packaging, advertising, and Amazon listings.

The NAD, an investigative arm of BBB National Programs, plays a crucial role in maintaining truthful advertising and ensuring a level playing field in the industry.

Supported claims

As reported in NAD’s press release, the organization determined that certain claims made by Native were substantiated:

Tagline “Clean. Simple. Effective.”

NAD found that using “simple” in this tagline was supported. According to the NAD press release, the claim conveys that “Native products contain few or minimal ingredients,” which was substantiated by P&G.

Monadic “Safe” Claims

NAD supported Native’s use of unqualified “safe” claims, such as “safe & simple products made without harsh ingredients.” The division noted that these claims suggest the products are safe when used as directed, without implying unreasonable interpretations like safety for all possible uses.

Recommended modifications

Despite these supported claims, NAD recommended that P&G modify or discontinue other claims:

“Simple Ingredients”

As reported in the release, “SCJ also challenged Native’s use of “simple” in reference to individual ingredients in Native Products instead of the product formulations as a whole: “simple ingredients,” “simple & effective ingredients,” or “simple ingredients you can understand at a glance.”

NAD recommended that P&G discontinue or modify the use of “simple ingredients” when describing Native’s deodorants, body washes, body lotion, conditioners, and shampoos. The NAD press release stated that this description of ingredients was not substantiated for these products.

“Born in the USA” Claim

NAD also recommended discontinuing the “Born in the USA” claim. As detailed in NAD's decision, it was determined that the claim implies Native products are made in the USA, which requires “all or virtually all” of the product’s costs to be domestic, a standard P&G could not substantiate.

During the proceeding, P&G voluntarily discontinued certain other claims, which NAD treated as though it recommended their discontinuation for compliance purposes, the release confirmed.

P&G response & potential industry impact

Procter & Gamble agreed to comply with NAD’s recommendations despite expressing respectful disagreement with certain determinations, the release reported. This compliance illustrates the importance of adhering to advertising standards and maintaining the integrity of product claims.

The determinations made in this case highlight the critical need for accurate and substantiated advertising in the personal care industry. The NAD press release emphasized, “Advertisers have the responsibility to provide truthful information that can be verified through reliable scientific methods.” Such diligence protects consumer trust and ensures fair competition.

The NAD's findings serve as a crucial reminder for manufacturers and suppliers in the cosmetics and personal care industry to rigorously substantiate their advertising claims. Ensuring transparency and accuracy in marketing not only fosters consumer trust but also promotes a fair and competitive market environment.

For a detailed summary of this case, visit the BBB National Programs case decision library​. 

Related topics Regulation & Safety Skin Care

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