BBB National Programs Archive
ERSP Finds Stain Away Can Support Certain Claims for Power Swabs Teeth Whitening System; Recommends Marketer Modify, Discontinue Other Claims
New York, NY – Jan. 16, 2018 – The Electronic Retailing Self-Regulation Program (ERSP) has found that Stain Away, LLC can support certain claims for Power Swabs, a teeth whitening system, but recommended the marketer modify or discontinue other claims.
ERSP is an investigative unit of the advertising industry’s system of self-regulation and is administered by the Council of Better Business Bureaus. The marketer’s advertising came to the attention of ERSP pursuant to its ongoing monitoring program,
ERSP reviewed broadcast and online advertising claims for Power Swabs and identified several claims for review, including:
- “Average 6 shades whiter teeth in 7 days!”
- “Clinically proven on average to whiten teeth two shades in less than five minutes after first use, six shades in seven days”
- “Clinically proven to reduce sensitivity while whitening”
- “Most advanced teeth whitening system”
- “Unlike those normal whitening strips and trays you won’t be screaming in pain”
- “The Power Swabs literally saved my pocketbook $7,500.00 when preparing to replace my 25 year old four (front-teeth) Porcelain Veneers…”
As support for the performance claims at issue, the marketer provided ERSP with clinical studies conducted on the Power Swabs product. After reviewing the evidence in the case record, ERSP determined that Stain Away provided a reasonable basis for its “Average 6 shades whiter teeth in 7 days!” claim and for the core claim that product users will see visible results within five minutes of product usage.
Although it was determined that Stain Away’s claim that its product “works on natural teeth, veneers, bonding, caps and crowns,” ERSP did not agree that evidence supported a claim that artificial surfaces would be restored “to their natural color.”
Regarding the establishment claims at issue, ERSP determined that the claim that Power Swabs is “Clinically proven on average to whiten teeth two shades in less than five minutes after first use, six shades in seven days” was consistent with Stain Away’s testing evidence, but the claim that Power Swabs is “Clinically proven to reduce sensitivity while whitening” was not accurately stated.
ERSP also concluded that the marketer provided a reasonable basis for the comparisons enumerated on its revised comparative chart, but the statement “Unlike those normal whitening strips and trays you won’t be screaming in pain” was not an accurate representation of competing products.
With respect to expert testimonials, ERSP did not object to the statements presented in a monadic context indicating that Power Swabs was easy to use with zero sensitivity, but determined that one dentist testimonial communicated an implied claim that was not supported by the evidence in the case record. Similarly, ERSP determined that the marketer did not provide a reasonable basis for the testimonial stating “The Power Swabs literally saved my pocketbook $7,500.00 when preparing to replace my 25 year old four (front-teeth) Porcelain Veneers…”
The company, in its marketer’s statement, said, “…we will ensure that such claims are appropriately qualified in the future and that all of ERSP’s other recommendations are taken into account during the development of future advertising. We appreciate ERSP’s insightful and careful review of this matter, and support ERSP and the self-regulation process.”