Rash claims clash as the NAD rejects a claims substantiation survey by a baby wipe manufacturer. Competitor Kimberly-Corp takes a swipe at WaterWipes and wins.
Claims at Issue
WaterWipes is a baby wipe company whose product is 99.9% water, and that claims to be “the world’s purest wipe” and “the #1 wipe against causes of diaper rash.” It also claims that the #1 claim is clinically proven. The substantiation of these claims lies in a study that the company itself authored, called BaSICS. BaSICS stands for Baby Skin Integrity Comparison Survey, and consisted of a survey of parents’ observations of diaper rash when their children were newborn to 8 weeks of age.
The NAD Decision
The NAD ruled that the BaSICS survey failed to substantiate claims made by WaterWipes, and WaterWipes agreed to change its claims. The NAD decided that the survey WaterWipes used to back its claims had a number of flaws, including failure to control for additional products parents use during diaper changes, like creams, and the lack of a clinical environment to back up the “clinically proven” claim. The decision stated the survey’s universe was “was too narrow to support the broad #1 claims” and the study did not “provide adequate substantiation for the broad superiority claims or the establishment claim at issue in this challenge.”
In order to properly substantiate a claim, a survey must accurately measure an audience, or in this case, an incidence of diaper rash. This study also failed to block out the WaterWipes name and marketing messages, which could produce bias in respondents; it failed to take into account other products whose use could also contribute to a lack of diaper rash; and was not conducted in a controlled environment. It’s not enough to back a claim up with a survey; the claim must align with the survey evidence, or risk costly challenges. If you require claims substantiation survey research, we can help.