ASA Adjudication on Ciba Vision (UK) Ltd
Ciba Vision (UK) Ltd
17 December 2008
Health and beauty
Number of complaints:
A poster and TV ad for disposable contact lenses.
The poster showed a large eye. Text underneath stated "THE MOST COMFORTABLE DAILIES®CONTACT LENS EVER, GUARANTEED. Unique triple action moisture helps to refresh your eyes 14,000 times a day. The secret's in the blink."
The TV ad showed a single eye that multiplied each time it blinked. A voice-over stated "Imagine a unique new contact lens, one that refreshes itself every time you blink. Only Dailies AquaComfort Plus has our unique triple action moisture that lubricates, moisturises and refreshes. " The ad showed a single contact lens from a variety of angles and ended with a pack shot. The voice-over said "For outstanding comfort all day long, new Dailies Aquacomfort Plus daily disposable lenses. The most comfortable Dailies contact lens ever. See your optician now about free trial lenses." On-screen text stated "THE MOST COMFORTABLE DAILIES®CONTACT LENS EVER. DAILIES is a registered trademark. Fitting fees may apply. Conditions apply."
Johnson & Johnson Medical Ltd (Johnson & Johnson) objected that the ads misleadingly implied the advertised lenses were more comfortable than any other brand of daily disposable contact lenses. They provided the results of market research, which they had commissioned into the poster, that they believed showed a significant proportion of consumers and 'eye care professionals' would interpret the claim as meaning that the Ciba Vision product was the most comfortable daily contact lens ever produced by any manufacturer.
CAP Code (Edition 11)
BCAP TV Code
Ciba Vision (UK) Ltd (Ciba) said the claims were intended to convey that the advertised contact lens was the most advanced in terms of comfort of the Ciba Vision range of daily disposable contact lenses, which were marketed as either "DAILIES®" or "FOCUS® DAILIES®".
In relation to the press ad, Ciba believed the ad had to be viewed in its entirety to put the claims in their proper context. They pointed out that the word "DAILIES®" with its use of the "®" symbol was clearly identifiable as a brand name and a registered trade mark. They maintained that consumers were accustomed to the use of such symbols to identify specific products or brand names. Furthermore, Ciba pointed out that the claim did not make sense in the English language, as the word 'dailies' was a plural in normal usage. They believed consumers would understand the difference between "DAILIES®" and 'daily' in the singular, which they acknowledged could be seen to refer to 'daily disposable' contact lenses. They pointed out that the poster featured an image of the product's packaging, which was marked clearly with the products brand name.
In relation to the TV ad, Ciba again pointed out that the use of the word "DAILIES®" was clearly in the context of a registered trade mark and a brand name and was obviously not a reference to 'daily disposable' contact lenses in general. They pointed out that the ad referred on several occasions to "DAILIES® AquaComfort Plus®" and that the specific claim which was being complained about only featured at the end of the ad. Ciba maintained that it was difficult to see how viewers could not understand the claim in the context of the specific references to their product and brand name.
Clearcast said they thought it was entirely appropriate for Ciba to advertise their product as the most comfortable within the Dailies range and pointed to the inclusion of the "®" symbol. They acknowledged that the word "Dailies" was similar to the word 'daily', as in daily lenses, but maintained that Ciba had made the distinction sufficiently clear. Clearcast also said they ensured the voice-over pronounced the word "Dailies" clearly to avoid confusion among viewers.
The ASA noted the market research sent by Johnson & Johnson showed that 47% of respondents believed the claim related to all daily-wear contact lenses. We noted, however, the methodology followed involved showing the respondents the claim, "THE MOST COMFORTABLE DAILIES® CONTACT LENS EVER, GUARANTEED", in isolation before showing them the actual claim in the context of the ad. We considered that such an approach had the potential to unduly influence respondents in their subsequent interpretation of the ad because the claim was put to them outside its context.
We noted the claim, "THE MOST COMFORTABLE DAILIES® CONTACT LENS EVER, GUARANTEED", incorporated the registered trademark symbol in both ads and that it featured in conjunction with several references to the "DAILIES® AquaComfort Plus®" brand name and product. We therefore considered that consumers were likely to understand it in the context of a claim about the AquaComfort Plus® product being the most comfortable of the DAILIES® range of disposable lenses. Consequently, because we considered that consumers were unlikely to confuse the reference to the word DAILIES® with 'daily-use contact lenses', we concluded that the ads were unlikely to mislead.
We investigated the ads under CAP Code clauses 3.1 (Substantiation), 7.1 (Truthfulness) and 19.1 (Other comparisons) and CAP (Broadcast) TV Advertising Standards Code rules 5.2.1 (Evidence), 5.2.2 (Implications) and 5.4.6 (Comparative advertising) but did not find them in breach.
No further action necessary.
Adjudication of the ASA Council (Broadcast)
Adjudication of the ASA Council (Non-broadcast)