P&G relieved as toothpaste ad complaints are NOT upheld…

By Michelle Yeomans

- Last updated on GMT

Procter & Gamble is the first cosmetic company in a long time to escape the ASA’s wrath, despite complaints being made against its’ advert for ‘Oral-B 3D White Brilliance’ toothpaste.

The Agency received complaints for a TV ad featuring UK celebrity Holly Willoughby who states; “Oral-B 3D White is always part of my beauty regime. It helps whiten the front, back, and visible gaps between teeth, for whiter teeth in 2 weeks​," to which some viewers challenged whether her white teeth were the result of digital manipulation or professional whitening rather not the product itself.

On investigating into the matter, the ASA ruled for the first time in months that the personal care company would not be required to act, as the complaints were not upheld.


According to the monitoring Agency, P&G said the raw film had been subject to normal grading to provide the film with contrast and depth and provided a copy of the finished ad and the ungraded film whilst also explaining that no digital adjustments or enhancements were applied to Ms. Willoughby's teeth.

P&G also said Ms Willoughby's teeth had been cleaned prior to the shoot, but said they had not been whitened, whilst also providing a signed letter which confirmed that she had used the advertised product over a two-week period prior to filming the ad and noticed visibly whiter teeth​,” the ASA stated on its website.

The ASA examined both the graded and un-graded versions of the ad and noted the overall appearance of Ms Willoughby's teeth in the ad had not been significantly modified.

"Because Ms Willoughby had used the advertised product for a two-week period prior to filming the ad and noticed visibly whiter teeth, had not had her teeth whitened or significantly modified during post production, we considered the ad did not exaggerate the efficacy of the advertised product and therefore concluded that the ad did not breach the Code."

L’Oreal also breathing a sigh of relief…

Elsewhere, L'Oréal is also breathing a sigh of relief after it received five complaints for a national press ad for 'Youth Code' skin serum and day cream featuring before and after photos of two women and accompanied by text that stated; "Instant luminosity. Seeing is believing".

Five complainants challenged whether the ad was misleading because they believed the photos were not representative of the results the product could achieve. To which the ASA noted that the photos had been taken on the same day and that the consumer "before" and "after" photos showed the effect of applying the products to only one half of the face.

It stated; "We therefore acknowledged that the effect of the product could be achieved immediately following one application and ruled that the effect of the product in the photos was consistent with the effect of those used in the ad, bearing in mind that they had not been taken by a professional photographer​."

Before concluding that; "Because we had seen evidence that demonstrated that the photos did not exaggerate the results the products could achieve, we concluded that the ad was unlikely to mislead.​"

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