November 16th, 2020
Microban 24 does not provide lasting protection against viruses, including COVID-19. But you’d be forgiven for thinking it does after seeing the TV commercial above.
“Spray on hard surfaces to kill 99.9 percent of viruses and bacteria initially,” a woman says in the ad. “Once dry, it forms a bacteria shield that keeps killing bacteria for 24 hours even after multiple touches.”
Reading this, there are indications that the sanitizing spray does not continue to kill viruses for 24 hours, such as the fact that the ad leaves out the word “viruses” when making its 24-hour claim.
However, consumers watching the fast-moving ad in real-time may not pick up on these subtleties. They may walk away with only a few phrases, such as “kill 99.9 percent of viruses and bacteria” and “24 hours.”
And these phrases, along with the name of the product, Microban 24, combine to create the impression that the spray provides 24-hour protection against viruses, when that is not the case according to the commercial’s fine print (click to enlarge):
Also, while the woman in the commercial says she is from “medifacts,” don’t think this is anything other than an ad for Microban 24. Once again, the fine print holds the key: “This message is sponsored by Microban 24.”
The maker of Microban 24 is consumer goods giant Procter & Gamble. Last month, P&G announced that Microban 24 had been approved by the EPA as effective at killing the virus that causes COVID-19 after it was shown to eliminate it in 60 seconds.
However, as our friends at Mouseprint.org recently noted, none of this changes the fact that the spray does not provide 24-hour protection against viruses, including the coronavirus.
But all of this is somewhat moot because we now know that the primary way the virus spreads is through the air. Which is why infectious disease experts say people should focus more on wearing masks and social distancing than on sanitizing surfaces.
Find more of our coverage on “24 hour” sanitizing products and COVID-19 claims here.
This ad alert was updated 11/19/20.