Competitor complaints lead to another ad ban for Colgate


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Competitor complaints lead to another ad ban for Colgate
Toothpaste titan Colgate-Palmolive has been told to discontinue certain claims made about its Optic White toothpaste following a competitor complaint; this time from Procter & Gamble.

Colgate has been in trouble with the National Advertising Division in the US before, following complaints made by Sensodyne toothpaste maker GSK about Colgate’s Sensitive Pro-Relief toothpaste​.

This time it is P&G, maker of Crest 3D Whitestrips, who has filed the complaint following the whitening claims made about the Colgate product.

Recommended removal

NAD recommended that Colgate discontinue certain claims for its Optic White Toothpaste, including the claim, “Same Whitening Ingredient as Strips.”

However, the advertising authority did determine that Colgate provided adequate support for a narrower claim that its product contains 1 percent hydrogen peroxide.

In response to the decision, Colgate said it disagreed with certain of NAD’s findings, including concerns regarding the “literally truthful claim ‘Same Whitening Ingredient As Strips,’ since the New York-based company believes that this exact and similar ingredient claims have been prevalent in the whitening category for many years.”

The express claim at issue – “Same Ingredient as Strips”— appeared in print and internet advertising, a television commercial, on product packaging, and in-store displays.

Some claims substantiated

Following its review of the evidence in the record, which included the results of consumer-perception testing offered by P&G, NAD concluded that the advertiser’s evidence was insufficiently reliable to support the claim or the messages implied by the claim.

It did, however, find that the advertiser could support a more narrowly phrased claim that Optic White “removes stains that non-whitening fluoride toothpastes do not.”

Furthermore, NAD found that the advertiser provided adequate support basis for the claim that Optic White contains 1 percent hydrogen peroxide in a stable form and for a stand-alone claim that Optic White provides whiter teeth in one week or whiter teeth in one week as compared to a regular, non-whitening fluoride toothpaste.

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