Overview: Pretty Litter will discontinue comparative claims that competitor Fresh Step does not remove odor and makes a home smell. Something smelled off to Clorox and the case was brought to the NAD.
Sitting Pretty, Litter-Ally
The cat litter market is expected to grow by 5.1% from 2023-2030, reaching 22.31 billion and makers of cat litter are clawing their way to usurp new consumers in the market. According to the American Pet Products Association, Inc., the newest members of this market, Generation Z, accounted for 16% of pet ownership in the U.S. in 2022. Litter-ally billions of dollars of profit are at stake in kitty litter, making advertising competition and product development a real cat race.
Cat litter maker Pretty Litter, Inc. made the claim that competitor Fresh Step, a cat litter product made by The Clorox Company, “doesn’t absorb odor, making your home stink.” Clorox challenged the implied and express comparative claims made by Pretty Litter and brought the challenge to the NAD.
During the proceeding, Pretty Litter voluntarily agreed to discontinue its claims, as though the NAD recommended discontinuing all claims. In a statement, Pretty Litter stated that it “appreciates the opportunity to participate in the self-regulation process and will comply with the NAD’s recommendations.” It also noted that the majority of claims Clorox mentioned in its challenge were no longer in use in Pretty Litter advertising campaigns.
Smells Like Sensory Claim Research
While this did not turn into a kitty litter cat fight, it likely still cost marketing dollars, and perhaps brand reputation. Making comparative claims is common in advertising, especially when the competition for market share is high and rising. Conducting proper sensory research, when claims include smell, is essential prior to making claims and running campaigns. Sensory research in this kind of case case could include convening panels of consumers to smell the kitty litter to determine which litter is litter-ally the best at controlling odor.
If you require research to substantiate claims for new products, rereleased products, or other types of product, contact MMR Strategy Group. Our sensory research withstands scratches and scrutiny by regulatory bodies.