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Published on August 1st, 2017


Febreze Plug-In Air Fresheners

Procter & Gamble claimed that its Febreze plug-in air fresheners were so fresh that it would take four of a competitor’s products to match the freshness packed in just one of its potent pluggables. But what that meant wasn’t exactly clear. A disclosure, for its part, offered up this explanation:

Up to 4x the freshness intensity of the leading generic brand.

But the marketer of competing Air Wick products argued in a challenge to NAD that the claims “4=1” and “Why buy 4?” could also be interpreted to mean that Febreze plug-ins last four times longer than competing brands. Thus, a debate ensued over whether the claims constituted a statement about freshness intensity or freshness longevity — or both.

As far as can tell, no hip-hop artists were summoned to weigh in on the issue. NAD ended up siding with the Air Wick marketer, finding that the disclosure does little to clear the air. It recommended that P&G discontinue the claims and P&G said it would comply with the decision.

Find more of our coverage on air fresheners here.

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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.


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