Summary of Action

TINA.org investigated a national marketing campaign for Gillette, owned by Procter & Gamble, which is focused on its Boston factory and the people who work there, and found that the company is making the unqualified claim that the Gillette product line is made in the United States. However, the overwhelming majority of Gillette products (as represented on its website) that include origin information on their packaging are not entirely made in the United States. Most of these products are entirely made in foreign countries, such as China, Poland, Brazil, and Mexico, while others contain non-U.S. components. In fact, only a small minority of Gillette products that contain origin information on packaging meet the FTC’s legal definition of made in the United States.

TINA.org sent a warning letter to P&G on December 21, 2017 explaining its findings and asking that Gillette promptly remove from publication all marketing materials that make deceptive Made in USA claims.

As a result of TINA.org’s warning letter, as well as several subsequent communications between TINA.org and senior counsel for Gillette, the company ultimately removed the majority of its deceptive social media posts, apparently acknowledging the existence of deceptive origin claims in its marketing materials. But Gillette failed to timely remove deceptive origin claims from its daily national television commercials – the most visible part of its Made in Boston marketing campaign – or a YouTube video that has been viewed more than 500,000 times.

Accordingly, on January 22, 2018, TINA.org filed a complaint letter with the Federal Trade Commission requesting that it take action to halt Gillette’s deceptive marketing.

Within a couple months, on April 2, 2018, the company aired a new national television commercial that, instead of highlighting its Boston factory and showing multiple American flags, states “Invented in Boston. Made and sold around the world.”

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