National Advertising Review Board Recommends Dr. Squatch Discontinue Jukebox “Detergent” Claims; Finds Jukebox Soap “Natural” Claims Supported
Nov 22, 2023
New York, NY – November 22, 2023 – A panel of the National Advertising Review Board (NARB), the appellate advertising body of BBB National Programs, recommended that Dr. Squatch, LLC discontinue referring to products that may compete with its Jukebox Soap products as consisting of, containing, or being detergents. However, the NARB panel determined that Dr. Squatch provided a reasonable basis for its “natural” claims for Jukebox Soap.
Dr. Squatch’s Jukebox brand distinguishes itself from competing bars and cleansers as “real” soap made with natural ingredients. The advertising at issue had been challenged by Unilever U.S., Inc., manufacturer of Dove brand cleansers and body washes. Following a decision by the National Advertising Division (NAD) (Case No. 7195), Dr. Squatch appealed and Unilever cross-appealed.
In agreement with NAD, the NARB panel concluded that referring to competitive products as being or containing detergents communicates the unsupported message that competitive products are harsh to the skin. The NARB panel further agreed with NAD that consumers are not likely aware of the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) technical definitions, and accordingly, it is misleading for Dr. Squatch to refer to the FDA’s definition in referencing competing products as “synthetic detergents.”
In agreement with NAD, the NARB panel concluded that Dr. Squatch provided a reasonable basis for its “natural” claims. In so finding, the NARB panel noted that:
- An analysis of consumer expectation is the proper standard for what is or is not natural.
- Saponification would be regarded by reasonable consumers as minimal processing, and therefore consistent with identifying the product as natural.
- Jukebox products are made almost entirely from natural or naturally derived ingredients.
Claims about Jukebox’s Leadership
In the underlying decision, NAD recommended that the statement “Who run the world? Girls” in conjunction with the statement “From our world-class natural perfumers and in-house artisan soap makers to our bubbly leadership, we’re a band of music & soap-lovin’ ladies” be modified to avoid conveying the message that Jukebox is a women-run brand. The NARB panel determined that NAD reached the correct conclusion on this issue.
During the appeal, Dr. Squatch presented the NARB panel with modified advertising in which the heading “Who run the world? Girls?” has been replaced with “Meet the Band.” The NARB panel concluded that the revised advertising communicates a different message than the claim language that had been challenged and is properly supported because it refers to the hands-on, directly responsible personnel who, based on the evidence, are primarily women.
Dr. Squatch stated that it “appreciates NARB’s careful review of the record in this appeal and will comply with the recommendations made by NAD and NARB in its future advertising.”
About BBB National Programs: BBB National Programs, a non-profit organization, is the home of U.S. independent industry self-regulation, currently operating more than a dozen globally recognized programs that have been helping enhance consumer trust in business for more than 50 years. These programs provide third-party accountability and dispute resolution services that address existing and emerging industry issues, create a fairer playing field for businesses, and a better experience for consumers. BBB National Programs continues to evolve its work and grow its impact by providing business guidance and fostering best practices in arenas such as advertising, child-and-teen-directed marketing, data privacy, dispute resolution, automobile warranty, technology, and emerging areas. To learn more, visit bbbprograms.org.
About the National Advertising Review Board (NARB): The National Advertising Review Board (NARB) is the appellate body for BBB National Programs’ advertising self-regulatory programs. NARB’s panel members include 85 distinguished volunteer professionals from the national advertising industry, agencies, and public members, such as academics and former members of the public sector. NARB serves as a layer of independent industry peer review that helps engender trust and compliance in NAD, CARU, and DSSRC matters.
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