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October 26, 2020

Microban 24: Kills Viruses and Bacteria for 24 Hours?

Filed under: Health,Retail — Edgar (aka MrConsumer) @ 5:40 am

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Edgar Dworsky For 25 years, Consumer World, the creator of Mouse Print*, has served readers with the latest consumer news, money-saving tips, and independent investigations. It is your generosity (and not advertising nor corporate contributions) that keeps Mouse Print* and Consumer World available as free consumer resources. So MrConsumer turns to you and humbly asks for your support again this year. Your gift will be most appreciated.


Everyone is very conscious these days of keeping surfaces that we touch as sanitary as possible. So what a perfect time to promote this product, Microban 24, that kills viruses and bacteria.

What is the impression you come away with after watching that commercial? They claim that Microban 24 kills 99.9% of viruses and bacteria, and you may believe they said it works for 24 hours. Watch the commercial again.

*MOUSE PRINT:

Microban fine print

They actually claim, combining their oral statements and fine print disclaimer that Microban 24 kills bacteria for 24 hours, but only kills viruses initially (upon spraying) and NOT for 24 hours. The company cleverly omits the word “viruses” when making its 24-hour claim.

So despite the product’s name, and a very carefully worded commercial where every word is literally true, a consumer could very easily come away with an incorrect impression of the efficacy of the product. And under FTC theory of the law, this could make the ad deceptive.

It is the net impression conveyed by a solicitation, “not its literal truth or falsity,” that determines whether it is deceptive. FTC v. Cyberspace.com, LLC, 453 F.3d 1196, 1200, 1201 (9 Cir. 2000).

We asked Procter & Gamble, the maker of the product, why they don’t clearly state orally that virus protection does not last 24 hours, and whether they would consider modifying their advertisements to more clearly disclose the limited nature of the virus protection. P&G did not respond to our inquiry.

UPDATE October 28: The EPA just granted approval to add Microban 24 to its list of products that can kill the coronavirus within 60 seconds. But, that does not change the fact that P&G’s product does not continue to kill viruses for 24 hours contrary to the impression created by their advertising.

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5 Comments

  1. Cheap DYI: One part bleach to 10 parts water.

    Comment by Marty — October 26, 2020 @ 9:52 am
  2. Under normal conditions, I might give them some slack on this. But, since everyone is concerned about the virus today, they should be up front and center about it not working for 24 hours against it. Oh well, at least it works initially.

    Comment by Randall Flagg — October 26, 2020 @ 10:49 am
  3. Another vote for regular bleach. At around $5.00 a gallon (depending on where you buy it & if you buy generic or Clorox brand) & $15.00 for a 15 oz. aerosol can, it isn’t a hard choice!

    Comment by Gert — October 26, 2020 @ 4:07 pm
  4. My family doesn’t hide from germs. We have a strong immune system. Some bacteria is beneficial. The world today makes the people think they need to bathe in bleach 3 times a day or they will surely die. Ridiculous.

    Comment by David Trent — October 28, 2020 @ 6:22 pm
  5. David, I don’t use antibacterials, I use bleach around the house & isopropyl alcohol for use with wipes outside the house. I don’t bathe in bleach but I am careful outside of the house (I’m a bit of a germaphobe). But it has served me well over the years. I have never had the flu & haven’t had a ‘cold’ in probably 40 years or so.

    Comment by Gert — October 30, 2020 @ 4:30 pm

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