Swiffer Swept up in Broom-Bashing Claims

January 13th, 2015

swiffer claim 1

Score one for the broom.

Procter & Gamble has agreed to discontinue advertising claims that its Swiffer product — compared to a broom — leaves floors up to three times cleaner and picks up 50 percent more dirt, dust and hair.

The National Advertising Division (NAD) recommended that P&G stop running the superiority claims after it found the company’s supporting evidence “materially flawed.” NAD said P&G only tested two brooms on three surfaces — hardwood, vinyl and ceramic title — over a too-small area.

P&G became swept up in a debate over the claims — which surfaced in stores, on the Internet and on product packaging — after a competitor, the Libman Company, complained to NAD about the broom-bashing.

As of this writing, though, at least three of the four challenged claims still appear on the Swiffer website. In addition to the one above, there’s this one and this one yet to be washed from the website.

For more on self-regulation in the advertising industry, click 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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