Darker teeth is probably not the look you were after, if you’ve bought a tube of Arm & Hammer Whitening Toothpaste, but customers who have tried the whitening toothpaste say that it has actually made their teeth a darker shade. The TV advertisement, which shows Blue Peter presenter Katy Hill demonstrating the powerful whitening power of the toothpaste, has now been axed.
Katy showed off her perfect set of knashers and implied that the reason for her white teeth was the baking soda in Arm & Hammers toothpaste. However, her ads have now been banned as it emerged that around 43 per cent of those who used the toothpaste said their teeth looked the same or darker afterwards.
Trials carried out by the manufacturer had shown that 39per cent, around two in five users ended up with teeth that were up to three shades whiter. However, the very same trials also proved that a whopping 43per cent did not see any improvement or were left with darker teeth.
And when you further examine the figures, you can see that 25per cent, a quarter of users actually had darker teeth, while 18per cent saw no change. An investigation was launched by the Advertising Standards Authority(ASA), and subsequently the ad was pulled.This is a huge blow to the manufacturer behind the brand, Church & Dwight, who have used the ingredient of baking soda for over 150 years, since the product was first made. Arm & Hammer is a brand leader in one of the world’s most competitive market.
The advert, which has already been shown on UK TV, shows Katy telling potential users to try the toothpaste, saying: “See this, it’s baking soda, an amazing natural cleaner. And it’s in every tube of Arm & Hammer Toothpaste.” She then gets viewers to feel if their teeth are rough by licking their teeth: “Try this, lick your teeth. Feel rough?
The baking soda removes this rough feeling to give you a wow deep clean and whitens teeth brilliantly.” She adds: “With advanced whitening, it’s up to three shades whiter. Or your money back.” You then saw a textual message flash up on screen that promised: ‘Clinically proven up to 3 shades whiter’.
It is thought that Church & Dwight gave the ASA the results of trials designed to measure colour changes and stain removal to substantiate its claims. However, when the ASA consulted dental experts, they were shocked at the amount of people that had suffered from darker teeth or had no change whatsoever.
The ASA said: “The study showed that 39per cent of subjects’ teeth were three or more shades whiter after four weeks use of the toothpaste. However, although the mean shade change after four weeks was 2.16 shades lighter the results ranged from 13 shades lighter to 5.5 shades darker.
In addition, 25per cent of subjects had darker teeth after four weeks and 18per cent saw no change.” The ASA continued by stating: “Because the study was not sufficiently robust, and a significant proportion of subjects had darker teeth or no change after using the toothpaste, we concluded the whitening claims had not been substantiated.”
As a direct result from Arm & Hammer’s studies, the ASA said that the TV commercial and similar marketing claims made on the company’s website were misleading and should therefore be banned.