NARB Determines that #1 Claim for Oral-B Interdental Picks, Based on Oral-B’s Status as the Leading Dental Floss Brand, is Not Misleading
Contact: Abby Hills, Director of Communications, BBB National Programs
703-247-9330 / firstname.lastname@example.org
New York, NY – September 16, 2020 – A panel of the National Advertising Review Board (NARB), a division of BBB National Programs, has determined that a “#1” claim, for Oral-B Precision Clean Interdental Picks, based on Oral-B’s status as the leading dental floss brand, is not misleading. However, the panel recommended that the Procter & Gamble Company (P&G) discontinue any uses of the #1 claim that are not accompanied by a clear and conspicuous disclosure that #1 refers to Oral-B’s status as the #1 dentist recommended floss brand. The advertising at issue had been challenged by competitor Sunstar Americas, Inc. (Sunstar) before the National Advertising Division (NAD). Following NAD’s decision (Case No. 6378), P&G appealed NAD’s findings.
Sunstar had challenged P&G’s #1 claim appearing on the principal display panel of the product packaging, which included a “Shield” containing the claim “Oral-B” above a prominent “#1.” Immediately adjoining the Shield to its right is a box containing the disclosure “FROM THE MAKERS OF THE #1 DENTIST RECOMMENDED FLOSS BRAND,” followed in the same box with the French language version of the same claim.
At issue on appeal was whether, viewed in context, consumers understand the Shield #1 claim to refer only to Oral-B’s status as the leading dental floss brand or whether, as contended by the challenger, it conveys to reasonable consumers a message that the Oral-B Pick is the category leader in sales, dentist recommendations, or both.
The NARB panel determined that the #1 claim is adequately connected to the explanatory information in the disclosure such that reasonable consumers will not be confused as to the meaning and interpretation of the #1 claim. However, the panel found that the uses of the Shield that were not accompanied by a clear and conspicuous disclosure, such as on challenged Amazon.com website references, are unsupported and should be discontinued.
P&G stated that it will comply with NARB’s recommendations. Further, P&G stated that it “does not use the #1 shield without an accompanying statement clarifying that Oral-B is the #1 recommended floss brand and has no intention of doing so in the future.”
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About the National Advertising Review Board: The National Advertising Review Board (NARB) is the appellate body for BBB National Programs’ advertising self-regulatory programs. NARB’s panel members include 87 distinguished volunteer professionals from the national advertising industry, agencies, and public members, such as academics and former members of the public sector. NARB serves as a layer of independent industry peer review that helps engender trust and compliance in NAD, CARU, and DSSRC matters.
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