Published: 30 April 2024  (Updated: 03 May 2024)

ASA Ruling on Misleading and Unsubstantiated Claims

Upheld ruling on colour correcting product for stained teeth.

On 24 April 2024, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) upheld a ruling against social media advertisements for a tooth whitening product claiming to achieve instant colour correcting results for yellow stains on teeth.

The adverts contained verbal descriptions of the products performance and imagery that ASA considered consumers would understand to mean that using the product on their teeth would reduce stains immediately and make teeth appear whiter and brighter.  Consumers could also expect the product to have a lasting effect beyond short-term eating and drinking.

The evidence behind the claims described the theory of colour correction using purple-based colourants that can temporarily reduce the appearance of yellow staining.  However, the impression given in the adverts was that the product gave similar effects to more conventional tooth whitening methods.  The ASA considered that the data provided to substantiate the claims did not adequately evidence the product effects as consumers would understand them, and the claims were therefore misleading.  

The adverts must not appear again in the forms complained about and future claims cannot be made about the product without adequate documentary evidence to substantiate them.

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