BBB National Programs Archive
ERSP REVIEWS ADVERTISING FOR DENTABOOST. Recommends Marketer Modify Certain Claims
New York, NY – March 12, 2012 – The Electronic Retailing Self-Regulation Program (ERSP) has recommended that Neemology modify specific performance and establishment claims in advertising for “DentaBoost.” Additionally, ERSP determined that the marketer could not support establishment claims or consumer testimonials.
ERSP, the electronic direct-response industry’s self-regulatory forum, is administered by the Council of Better Business Bureaus (CBBB) with policy oversight by the National Advertising Review Council (NARC).
The marketer’s advertising came to the attention of ERSP pursuant to its ongoing monitoring program.
ERSP reviewed broadcast and online advertising for DentaBoost and identified several claims for review, including:
· “Dental health is essential for overall health. DentaBoost contributes to superior dental health.”
· “DentaBoost has harnessed the power of Neem Complex to proactively: Promote healthy gums, Reduce fear of the dentist by making dental visits easier, Gently whiten teeth and contribute to a brighter smile, Instantly eliminate bad breath and give you a fresh, clean feeling, Give you that fresh from the dentist feeling.”
· “DentaBoost uses a unique combination of scientifically proven natural ingredients including our proprietary Neem Complex to instantly improve the health of your gums and overall oral hygiene.”
· “A major university study verifies the healthy benefits of one of the key ingredients inDentaBoost.”
· “DentaBoost is a natural way to whiten my teeth.”
DentaBoost is an oral hygiene powder consisting of neem that is applied to a toothbrush and which claims to contribute to good dental health. After reviewing the evidence in the record, ERSP did not object to general statements about the neem ingredient and its use to promote healthy gums or better dental health.
However, ERSP found that the more specific claims in the advertising (e.g., “acts as tooth whitener”; “[i]nstantly eliminate bad breath”; “[m]akes your tooth brush more effective”) were not supported by the study data submitted. ERSP also determined that the claim “[DentaBoost] makes your toothbrush more effective” can be interpreted to mean that DentaBoost will contribute to cleaner teeth. Neemology did not provide any evidence that DentaBoost has a significant effect on making a user’s teeth cleaner than toothpaste alone.
As support for the establishment claims at issue, Neemology submitted several studies on neem, the primary ingredient in DentaBoost. ERSP found the studies tested neem at different dosages and via different methods of administration as compared to DentaBoost, and did not adequately substantiate the establishment claims. Similarly, ERSP found that the marketer’s evidence did not support claims found in consumer testimonials, and recommended Neemology modify or discontinue such claims.
The company, in its marketer’s statement, said, “We have reviewed ERSP’s decision regarding direct response advertising for DentaBoost and although we may not agree with all you decisions, we will take your recommendations into consideration in future advertising.”
ERSP’s inquiry was conducted under ERSP Policies and Procedures for the Electronic Retailing Self-Regulation Program. Details of the initial inquiry, ERSP’s decision, and the advertiser’s response are available at the NARC Website, www.narcpartners.org
About Advertising Industry Self-Regulation: The National Advertising Review Council (NARC) was formed in 1971. NARC establishes the policies and procedures for the National Advertising Division (NAD) of the Council of Better Business Bureaus, the CBBB’s Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU), the National Advertising Review Board (NARB) and the Electronic Retailing Self-Regulation Program (ERSP).
The NARC Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the 4A’s (American Association of Advertising Agencies, Inc.) the American Advertising Federation, Inc. (AAF), the Association of National Advertisers, Inc. (ANA), Council of Better Business Bureaus, Inc. (CBBB), Direct Marketing Association (DMA), Electronic Retailing Association (ERA) and Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB). Its purpose is to foster truth and accuracy in national advertising through voluntary self-regulation.
NAD, CARU and ERSP are the investigative arms of the advertising industry’s voluntary self-regulation program. Their casework results from competitive challenges from other advertisers, and also from self-monitoring traditional and new media. NARB, the appeals body, is a peer group from which ad-hoc panels are selected to adjudicate NAD/CARU cases that are not resolved at the NAD/CARU level. This unique, self-regulatory system is funded entirely by the business community; CARU is financed by the children’s advertising industry, while NAD/NARC/NARB’s primary source of funding is derived from membership fees paid to the CBBB. ERSP’s funding is primarily derived from membership in the Electronic Retailing Association. For more information about advertising industry self-regulation, please visit www.narcpartners.org