When using the term ‘advanced’, advertisers should make it clear which aspect of the product they are referring to as ‘advanced’. As a rule of thumb, PAGB has devised three criteria for the use of the word ‘advanced’.
For example, if Brand X has data to show that it offers better dandruff removal compared to all other products on the market, it can use the claim ‘advanced dandruff removal’.
Where it is the only product that has become available over the counter and can demonstrate a superior level of efficacy, then the product can continue to use the ‘advanced’ claim indefinitely. However, where more than one product has become available that can demonstrate the same level of efficacy (for example, when two or more products with the same active ingredient have recently switched from POM to P), then each product can make the claim for one year from the date that the first product with that level of efficacy became available over the counter.
For example, if a product contains the ingredient perceived as being the most state-of-the-art ingredient in this sector, it can claim to have an ‘advanced formulation’. Such claims are likely to be very similar to advanced efficacy claims.
Where it is the only product that has become available over the counter and that contains this ingredient, it can continue to use the ‘advanced’ claim for as long as the ingredient continues to be perceived as being the most advanced ingredient in its sector. However, where more than one product has become available, each of which contains the said ingredient, all such products can make the claim for one year from the date when the ingredient was first available for purchase.
Where a brand is reformulated to deliver improved benefits to consumers, it can claim to be advanced for this reason. For example, if Brand X is reformulated to incorporate faster dissolution it can then claim to be ‘Advanced Brand X’. In such cases, the advertising must specify in what way the product has advanced. This claim could be used for one year from the date when the reformulated product became available.
Where a treatment first becomes available in a particular format, and can demonstrate that this offers a benefit to consumers, it can claim to be advanced for this reason.
Where a product is the only over-the-counter product in its category that has this particular format, and where that format offers a tangible benefit to consumers, the product can continue to use an ‘advanced’ claim until it is superseded by other format advances. However, when more than one product can demonstrate the same format advance, each product can make the claim for one year from the date that the first product with the particular format became available over the counter.