As part of its routine, ongoing monitoring program, NAD requested substantiation for certain performance claims in print advertising made by Murad for its Murad Rapid Age Spot and Pigment Lightening Serum.
Claims at issue included: “Clinically proven to fade spots by 33% in just one week” and "Environmental Shield."
In response to NAD’s inquiry, the advertiser said that while it believes its “clinically proven” claim to be fully supported, it had decided – for reasons unrelated to NAD’s inquiry – to permanently discontinue the claim prior to the commencement of NAD’s inquiry. As a result, NAD administratively closed its inquiry into the “clinically proven” claim.
The advertiser argued that its “Environmental Shield” claim is a trademarked phrase that has appeared on its product packaging since 1997 and refers to a line of products containing approximately 11 stock-keeping units, or SKUs. The advertiser maintained that the products are designed to be used together and include a sunscreen and a moisturizer that act as a “shield” against environmental harms such as sunburn and skin desiccation.
NAD noted in its decision, however, that the challenged advertisement does not refer to the “Environmental Shield” line of products or explain that the use of the Rapid Age Spot and Pigment Lightening Serum is Part Two of a three-step “Environmental Shield” Day Regimen.
NAD recommended that the advertiser modify its advertising to make clear that “Environmental Shield” is a line of products and that the Rapid Age Spot and Pigment Lightening Serum is a part of a multi-step regimen to avoid conveying the unsupported message that the Rapid Age Spot and Pigment Lightening Serum product itself provides a protective barrier against environmental harm to the skin.
Murad, in its advertiser’s statement, said the company “whole-heartedly supports the NAD's advertising self-regulation program and … will take NAD’s suggestions into consideration in its future marketing materials for this product. As always, Murad is committed to ensuring that its advertising is truthful, accurate, and substantiated, and the company greatly values and supports self-regulation.”