Published on July 31st, 20170
Procter & Gamble, the parent company of Always, a competitor of Depend, alleged that the use of photoshopped images to remove the visible wrinkles, bulges, and creases of the model wearing the product as well as use of phrases such as “yoga-pants approved” unfairly led consumers to believe that the product would be relatively invisible under clothing. After reviewing the challenge, the regulatory body agreed that the picture of the woman wearing underwear airbrushed to an unusual level of smoothness presented consumers with an inaccurate representation of the actual fit and appearance of the product.
Regarding the use of digitally altered photographs, which appeared on product packaging and on the company’s website, NAD stated:
NAD noted in its decision that product demonstrations – which are used to enable consumers to witness, with their own eyes, how products perform – must accurately reflect how the advertised product works and not materially distort the performance capability of the advertiser’s or the competitor’s product.
Kimberly-Clark, the parent company of Depend, also agreed to either modify or discontinue the tagline “The only underwear with Night Defense” after NAD found that such a claim implied that Depend is the only producer of incontinence products with overnight capabilities.
The National Advertising Division, or NAD, is an investigative unit of the advertising industry’s system of self-regulation. It is administered by the Council of Better Business Bureaus. NAD asks advertisers to substantiate or change their claims in advertisements. As part of a voluntary system of self-regulation, however, its recommendations can be ignored by the offending advertisers. In those instances, NAD refers the offender to federal consumer protection agencies.