UK

'Misleading' Colgate toothpaste TV advert banned by watchdog

Toothpaste Image copyright Getty Images

A Colgate toothpaste TV advert which promised to "instantly" repair teeth has been banned for being "misleading".

Six complaints about the advert for Colgate Sensitive Repair and Prevent toothpaste were upheld by the Advertising Standards Authority.

Parent company Colgate-Palmolive (UK) said the product provided a "reparative layer on the enamel surface" when used.

It is the ninth Colgate-Palmolive ad to be banned in seven years, five of which were for dental products.

The ad, which appeared on UK screens in August this year, claimed to instantly heal sensitive teeth if applied twice a day "directly with [a] finger for one minute".

Colgate-Palmolive claimed clinical studies showed the product repaired microscopic gaps in tooth enamel and it believed that the advert was clear that the claim referred to the product providing a protective barrier on the teeth in order to relieve pain caused by sensitivity.

However, the ASA said that this was not the same as repairing the tooth and concluded the claim that it "repairs teeth instantly" was not substantiated.

The watchdog ruled the advert must not appear again in its current form and that the company must not make similar claims "unless they held evidence" to back them up.

It is the latest Colgate-Palmolive advert to be banned by the ASA.

In 2014 the company had a commercial banned for suggesting one of its toothbrushes used "sonic waves" to clean teeth, which the ASA said was misleading.

Other Colgate-Palmolive ads to be banned include one that the ASA ruled exaggerated how much whiter a toothpaste would make the user's teeth and another that featured an endorsement from a woman who said she was a nurse but was actually an actress.

The BBC has asked Colgate-Palmolive why it has fallen foul of the advertising regulator but has yet to receive a response.

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