BBB National Programs Archive

NAD Recommends P&G Discontinue “Pain Relief Within Minutes” Claim For “Crest Sensitivity Treatment & Protection Toothpaste”

New York, New York – Oct. 29,   2011 – The National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus Claims has recommended that Procter & Gamble discontinue advertising claims for Crest Sensitivity Treatment & Protection Toothpaste that promise “relief within minutes.”

The claims at issue were challenged before NAD, the advertising industry’s self-regulatory forum, by Colgate-Palmolive Company, a competing manufacturer of oral care products. 

NAD examined advertising claims that included:

  • “Relief within Minutes*”

*For Sensitivity relief within minutes, first brush sensitive teeth for 30 seconds each.”

  • “When used as directed [CST&P] provides relief from sensitivity pain within minutes…
  • “You’re only minutes away from lasting tooth sensitivity pain relief* with the Crest Sensitivity Treatment & Protection Toothpaste.  So you don’t have to wait to enjoy all your favorite hot and cold foods.” 

NAD noted in its decision that tooth pain affects millions of Americans and advertising claims that promise consumers pain relief  “within minutes instead of weeks (the expected time frame with most sensitivity toothpastes on the market) are particularly attractive to the target audience and require competent and reliable scientific support.”

In this case, the evidence before NAD included studies conducted by the advertiser and challenger and the guidelines that governed those studies.

Following its review of the evidence in the record, NAD found that while the advertiser’s studies were generally robust and well-designed, the results did not reflect near-immediate pain relief, a claim that communicates a far greater benefit to consumer than the studies’ results reflected. 

“While there is improvement in tooth sensitivity over time, with more clinically meaningful achievements at days three and after two weeks for both studies,” NAD noted, NAD determined that the totality of the evidence was insufficient to support the advertiser’s “relief within minutes” claims and recommended that they be discontinued.    

Procter & Gamble, in its advertiser’s statement, said that it would take NAD’s decision into consideration for future advertising.