In Razor vs. Razor, Neither Gillette Nor Schick Gains Edge With Ad Watchdog

Gillette Fusion ProGlide razor photoThe Gillette Co. and Energizer USA, the maker of Schick razors, have been asked to modify or stop certain claims about their razors in advertisements.

What started out as a Gillette complaint against rival Energizer Personal Care's claims about its Schick Hydro razor became a two-edged sword: The advertising industry's self-regulating group, the National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus, issue cautions to both companies.The razor war started in February, when Gillette said Schick Hydro advertising that claimed the Hydro razor would hydrate skin was false and misleading. Energizer Personal Care shot back in its own complaint that Gillette's Fusion ProGlide Razor ads deceive consumers into thinking all the ProGlide's razor blades are "Gillette's thinnest blades ever," among other claims.

The advertising watchdogs pointed out consumers could interpret Gillette's ad claim of "leading blades vs. Fusion" to mean it is the "leading product," when the Fusion was not actually market leader. The group recommended that Gillette change its ads to make clear that "leading blades" refers to the razor's first four blades.

Gillette, in a statement to NAD, said it "respectfully maintains that its comparison to "leading product" in TV copy refers to Fusion, which leads this razor system market in total cartridge and razor sales. Gillette further submits that the qualification "leading blades" uses plain, unambiguous language to avoid any suggestion that all of ProGlide's blades are thinner."

Both Gillette and Energizer Personal Care said that they would take NAD's recommendations into consideration in future advertising.
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