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In Reopened Proceeding, National Advertising Division Finds “#1 Dermatologist Recommended Skincare Brand” Claim for L’Oréal’s CeraVe Now Supported

New York, NY – October 19, 2022 – In a reopened case arising from the petition of a prior decision, the National Advertising Division (NAD) of BBB National Programs determined that L’Oréal USA, Inc. has now provided a reasonable basis for its claim that CeraVe is the “#1 dermatologist recommended skincare brand.”

The claims at issue, which appeared in online advertising, social media, and on in-store materials for CeraVe skincare products, were challenged by Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. (JJCI), the maker of competing Neutrogena brand skin care products.

2021 Challenge

In a 2021 challenge brought by JJCI, NAD examined L’Oréal’s support for the claim that CeraVe is the “#1 dermatologist recommended skincare brand.” NAD recommended that L’Oréal discontinue the claim based on its conclusion that the IQVIA ProVoice Dermatologist Survey relied on by L’Oréal as substantiation for its claim, was not reliable. Based on NAD’s recommendation, L’Oréal agreed to discontinue the claim.

Reopened Proceeding

In 2022, L’Oréal petitioned to reopen the decision pursuant to NAD/NARB Procedures. NAD granted the petition to re-open based on new evidence related to changes in the revised ProVoice Survey made by IQVIA to address concerns NAD had expressed in the 2021 challenge. During the reopened proceeding L’Oréal also provided new evidence from a NERA Survey that collected responses from 300 dermatologists regarding their actual recommendation practices.

NAD noted that while the revised ProVoice Survey included significant improvements consistent with NAD’s recommendations in the 2021 decision, the improvements did not entirely eliminate the inherent imprecision of the survey. However, NAD noted that a survey need not be perfect to serve as a reasonable basis for an advertising claim and NAD determined that the revised ProVoice Survey was substantially more reliable than the original ProVoice Survey.

NAD further noted that the NERA Survey, reliably captured dermatologists’ actual recommendation practices and that the results indicated that CeraVe is the clear leader in average weekly dermatologist recommendations. NAD found that the results are consistent with the category-based revised ProVoice Survey (and the original ProVoice Survey).

For these reasons, NAD determined that the new evidence submitted by L’Oréal, consisting of the revised ProVoice Survey and the NERA Survey, taken together provided a reasonable basis for L’Oréal’s claim that CeraVe is the “#1 dermatologist recommended skincare brand.”

In its advertiser’s statement, L’Oréal stated that it “appreciates NAD’s recognition of the modifications made to the ProVoice dermatologist survey and its finding that reopening of Case #6921 was warranted based on those revisions.” The advertiser further stated that it is a “strong proponent of the self-regulatory process and thanks NAD for its careful review of the record in this proceeding.”

About BBB National Programs: BBB National Programs is where businesses turn to enhance consumer trust and consumers are heard. The non-profit organization creates a fairer playing field for businesses and a better experience for consumers through the development and delivery of effective third-party accountability and dispute resolution programs. Embracing its role as an independent organization since the restructuring of the Council of Better Business Bureaus in June 2019, BBB National Programs today oversees more than a dozen leading national industry self-regulation programs, and continues to evolve its work and grow its impact by providing business guidance and fostering best practices in arenas such as advertising, child-directed marketing, and privacy. To learn more, visit bbbprograms.org. (Replace above with interim boilerplate)

About the National Advertising Division: The National Advertising Division (NAD), a division of BBB National Programs, provides independent self-regulation and dispute resolution services, guiding the truthfulness of advertising across the U.S. NAD reviews national advertising in all media and its decisions set consistent standards for advertising truth and accuracy, delivering meaningful protection to consumers and leveling the playing field for business.