National Advertising Division Recommends SmileDirectClub Discontinue Comparative “2X Whiter” and “2X Faster” Whitening Strips Claims

For Immediate Release
Contact: Abby Hills, Director of Communications, BBB National Programs

703.247.9330 / press@bbbnp.org

New York, NY – August 4, 2022 – The National Advertising Division (NAD) of BBB National Programs recommended that SmileDirectClub, LLC (SDC) discontinue claims that its Fast-Dissolving Whitening Strips:

  • Get teeth “2X whiter than Crest Classic White Whitestrips” 
  • Whiten teeth “2X faster than Crest Classic White Whitestrips”

 

These claims were challenged by Procter & Gamble Company, maker of a variety of Crest Whitestrips products.

 

“2X Whiter” Claim

In support of its “2X Whiter” claim, SDC relied on the results of a consumer use study, which compared the performance of SDC’s Fast-Dissolving Whitening Strips against Crest Classic White Whitestrips. NAD found that this study is not a good fit for the objective quantified performance claim that SDC’s product gets teeth “2X whiter.” NAD found that claims that convey the message that they are objectively verifiable should be substantiated with objective testing that goes beyond simply asking consumers for their opinion.    

Therefore, NAD recommended that the advertiser discontinue the “2X whiter” claim.

 

“2X Faster” Claim

The advertiser contended that its “2X faster” claim is true because Crest Classic White Whitestrips require a 30-minute wear time while SDC’s Fast-Dissolving Whitening Strips dissolve in 15 minutes, or half the amount of time. 

NAD found that the evidence in the record did not support the claim that SDC’s product dissolves in 15 minutes; therefore, the advertiser’s claim that its Fast-Dissolving Whitening Strips work “2X faster” is not supported.

Further, NAD determined that, in context, the challenged “2X faster” claim conveys a message that SDC’s Fast-Dissolving Whitening Strips offer similar whitening outcomes in less time. NAD noted that to substantiate this implied claim, SDC must provide support for the equivalent whitening efficacy message. However, as NAD has determined, the consumer use study provided by the advertiser is not a good fit for the objective whitening efficacy claim.

For these reasons, NAD recommended that the advertiser discontinue the “2X faster” claim.

In its advertiser statement, SDC stated that it “will comply with NAD’s recommendations.” The advertiser further stated that its “at-home study was designed to verify that the product works under real-world conditions,” and that while it “stands by its study and is disappointed with NAD’s conclusion,” it nonetheless “remains a strong supporter of the self-regulatory process and therefore will modify its advertising.”

All BBB National Programs case decision summaries can be found in the case decision library. For the full text of NAD, NARB, and CARU decisions, subscribe to the online archive.

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