Summary of Action
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.”
On October 1, 2018, the FTC sent Gillette a closing letter after raising concerns with the company regarding “certain marketing materials [that] overstated the extent to which Gillette products . . . are made in the United States.” In the letter, the FTC stated that Gillette had implemented a remedial action plan that “includes discontinuing unqualified U.S.-origin claims across all shaving and shaving-related products in digital advertising, broadcast advertising, and on packages,” and that the Commission will continue to monitor the company’s advertising closely.
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