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Colgate brand suffers following triclosan concerns

By Simon Pitman+

21-Aug-2014
Last updated on 21-Aug-2014 at 17:18 GMT

The global rating for the Colgate-Palmolive brand has taken a hit according to the UK-based YouGov BrandIndex, which indicates its ‘buzz score’ has fallen to a 14 month low.

The alleged demise of the brand’s perception comes as concerns mount over facts that were printed last week in a Bloomberg investigative report that point to irregularities in the FDA approval process.

The YouGov BrandIndex is widely seen as a means of benchmarking brands and the rating is known to fluctuate according to good or bad publicity that might be associated with them.

Colgate’s ‘buzz score’ plummets

The Colgate-Palmolive ‘buzz score’ was last rated at six points on Tuesday, August 19th, having slipped from a high of 17 points just over a week ago on August 8th.

YouGov BrandIndex says its data does coincide with the negative media coverage over the triclosan story, but also stated that its feedback from the consumers it questioned indicates that the news has not yet influenced their purchasing decisions.

On the New York stock exchange share prices did show a slight dip when the news first broke, but have recovered over the last couple of days, ending 0.64% up at $64.67 per share at close of business yesterday.

Colgate got triclosan approval 17 years ago

Colgate’s application to have its Total formulation approved by the FDA 17 years ago included 35 pages of summarized toxicology studies which were withheld from view, the investigative report points out, while also stressing that Colgate cannot be accused of wrongdoing.

However, the information was later made public following lawsuit pressure that cited the Freedom of Information Act, and the information has been available on the FDA website since January of this year, which outlines the approval process for the formulation.

The Bloomberg investigative report initiated the help of three scientists who studied the FDA paperwork, and underlined that the FDA’s questions concerning the thoroughness of cancer studies on triclosan were only partly addressed

Law makers come down on triclosan

Most recently Minnesota state legislatures voted to outlaw the ingredient in May of this year, making it the first state to do so, and a move that many view as the beginning of the end for its use in many cosmetic and personal care products.

This means the fact that one of the leading brands of toothpaste in the United States is formulated with the ingredient is creating a media impact that only a few months ago probably would not have made the news.

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