The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) has asked Proctor & Gamble (P&G) to withdraw or modify its Oral-B advertisement campaign for violating ASCI’s Advertising Code. Acting on a complaint against the print and TV advertisement, the ASCI noted that the claim of “Nine out 10 dentists agree that Oral-B Pro Health is the best toothpaste in India” is misleading as it is based on a faulty survey. ASCI upheld the complaint against the advertisement as it contravened Chapter 1.4 of the Advertising Code.
ASCI said, “The claim of ‘9 out 10 dentists agree that Oral-B Pro Health is the best toothpaste in India’, based on a dentists survey conducted by AC Nielsen in 2013, was considered misleading as the design of the survey itself was faulty. This was a survey conducted of a captive audience attending an Oral-B launch conference and post one trial-brushing. The advertiser has been asked to withdraw or to modify appropriately the said TVC and the print ad by January 23, 2014.”
Dr Ashok Dhoble, Honorary General Secretary, Indian Dental Association (IDA) said, “While exaggeration in advertising is widespread today, it is important that advertisers do not mislead the public with false claims. Any claim found to be false and misleading not only reflects poorly on the advertiser, it can deceive general public.”
He added, “The IDA is the apex body of dental professionals in India, with over 100,000 dentists as members, and we are disappointed that a leading advertiser like P&G used faulty research to make false claims about its recently introduced toothpaste brand, Oral-B. The ad not only misguides the public, but also misrepresents the views of the dental profession in India. Such deceptive and unethical practices should be avoided.”
The Advertising Standards Council of India is a self-regulatory council, which sets advertisement standards for the industry.