NEW YORK, August 4, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — The National Advertising Division (NAD) of BBB National Programs has recommended that SmileDirectClub, LLC (SDC) discontinue claims that its fast-dissolving whitening strips:

  • Get teeth “2 times whiter than Crest Classic White Whitestrips”
  • Whitens teeth “2x faster than Crest Classic White Whitestrips”

These claims have been disputed by Proctor & Gamble Company, makers 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 usage study, which compared the performance of SDC’s fast-dissolving whitening strips versus Crest strips. Classic White Whitestrips. NAD found that this study does not match the objective quantified performance claim that SDC’s product makes teeth “2x whiter”. NAD has found that claims that convey the message that they are objectively verifiable must be supported by objective testing that goes beyond simply asking consumers for opinions.

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

Claim “2X faster”

The advertiser argued that their “2x faster” claim is true because Crest Classic White strips require a wear time of 30 minutes while SDC’s fast-dissolving whitening strips dissolve in 15 minutes, or half the time.

NAD found that the evidence on file did not support the claim that SDC’s product dissolves in 15 minutes. Therefore, the advertiser’s claim that their fast dissolving whitening strips work “2x faster” is unsubstantiated.

Further, NAD has determined that, in context, the disputed “2x faster” claim conveys the message that SDC’s fast-dissolving whitening strips provide similar whitening results in less time. NAD noted that to substantiate this implied claim, SDC must provide support for the equivalent whitening effectiveness message. However, as determined by NAD, the consumer use study provided by the advertiser does not support the objective whitening efficacy claim.

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

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

All National BBB Program 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.

About National BBB Programs: National BBB programs are where businesses turn to build consumer confidence and consumers are heard. The nonprofit organization creates a fairer level playing field for businesses and a better experience for consumers through the development and delivery of effective third-party accountability and dispute resolution programs. Assuming its role as an independent organization since the restructuring of the Council of Better Business Bureaus in June 2019, BBB National Programs now oversees more than a dozen national industry self-regulatory programs and continues to evolve its work and increase its impact by providing business advice and promoting best practices in areas such as advertising, marketing to children and privacy. To learn more, visit bbbprograms.org.

About the National Advertising Division: The National Advertising Division (NAD) of BBB National Programs provides independent self-regulatory and dispute resolution services, guiding the truthfulness of advertising across the United States. NAD reviews national advertising in all media and its decisions set consistent standards for truth and accuracy in advertising, providing consumer protections and leveling the playing field for businesses.

SOURCE BBB National Programs