ITC censures ‘misleading’ ad for Swiffer

The Independent Television Commission (ITC) has banned Procter & Gamble from showing a TV ad for its Swiffer duster following a complaint from rival Johnson Wax.

The Independent Television Commission (ITC) has banned Procter & Gamble from showing a TV ad for its Swiffer duster following a complaint from rival Johnson Wax.

The company said the ad, which claims Swiffer cloths are “thicker and more attractive to capture more dust and hair” than a thinner, unnamed cloth, was a “thinly veiled denigratory comparison” with its own product, Pledge Dust and Go.

Johnson Wax also alleged that the ad was misleading because the thickness of the cloths had no impact on their effectiveness, and added that the Swiffer cloths did not perform better than its own brand.

After studying evidence from both parties, regulators concluded that P&G’s claim that the greater thickness of its cloths made them more effective was not supported.

But while the ITC agreed the ad was misleading and should not be shown again in its present form, it did not uphold Johnson Wax’s claim that the ads were denigratory.

An ITC spokeswoman says: “The advertising code does not allow advertisers to unfairly attack or discredit other products or services.”

Earlier this year in the US, P&G persuaded a court to issue a temporary restraining order preventing Johnson Wax from airing its comparative ad, which alleged that the Swiffer cloth was inferior to Johnson’s Grab-It product.

Latest from Marketing Week

Tesco, M&S, Just Eat: 5 things that mattered this week and why


M&S chief outlines digital-first strategy after profits plummet Marks & Spencer (M&S) is gearing up for a digital-first future, after its revealed on Wednesday (23 May) that profits had dropped a massive 62.1% to £66.8m compared to the previous year. A day earlier, the struggling retailer confirmed it will close more than 100 stores over […]


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here