An advertisement showing in the UK for GlaxoSmithKline’s Aquafresh toothpaste brand has been banned by the Advertising Standard Agency due to bogus claims that it provided ’24 Hour Sugar Acid Protection’.
The ASA has suggested that the company is unable to back up the claims and has demanded it be removed from the TV and YouTube.
Rival toothpaste competitor Colgate-Palmolive challenged the advertisement, questioning whether the fluoride ingredient could in fact provide 24 hour protection, as the marketing campaign suggested.
According to the TV ad, a voiceover stated ‘Sugar can attack anytime. Get around the clock defence against everyday sugars with Aquafresh 24-hour sugar acid protection toothpastes. Aquafresh, 24-hour sugar acid protection.’ This was backed up with on-screen text.
However, despite GSK giving evidence material from dental experts and published papers backing up their claim, the ASA stated that the Aquafresh toothpaste did not have any special ingredient other than the standard fluoride that is common in most toothpastes and therefore could not qualify its bold claims.
According to The Daily Mail, the ASA stated, ‘We understood that while regular brushing with a fluoride toothpaste offered protection against acids formed when sugars came into contact with bacteria in the mouth, there was no guarantee of the longevity of that protection because a number of factors were likely to mitigate the level of protection afforded.
‘Because the ads implied that Aquafresh 24-hour sugar acid protection provided continuous protection against sugar acid, when we understood that the level of protection afforded could be compromised by the frequent consumption of sugary food, we concluded the claims were misleading and had not been substantiated.’