consumer packaged goods

Crest Whitening Emulsions Spurs Category Growth, NAD Spurs Marketing Changes


Procter & Gamble’s nine-month-old Crest Whitening Emulsions has achieved 13% value share and is driving more than of half of U.S. growth in the teeth whitening category, Jon R. Moeller, P&G’s vice chairman and COO, told the virtual Deutsche Bank dbAccess Global Consumer Conference on Thursday.

During his presentation, Moeller also played a Crest Whitening Emulsions commercial, which touted “better, faster, 100% whiter teeth.”

If that commercial is shown again to the public, however, P&G will make sure it abides by a recommendation, announced Tuesday by the National Advertising Division (NAD) of BBB National Programs, to “clearly and conspicuously disclose” that claims in the brand’s packaging and advertising are in comparison only to its own year-old ARC Teeth Whitening Pen.



On the other hand, the NAD did find a reasonable basis for P&G’s claims that Crest Whitening Emulsions provides “better” or “100% whiter” results, and that it “whitens better” than the ARC Pen.

The NAD’s recommendations came as a result of a challenge brought by competitor SmileDirectClub.

P&G stated that it “disagrees with NAD’s conclusion that certain claims were not adequately supported," but “as a strong supporter of self-regulation, we agree to comply with the NAD’s decision.”

Agencies involved with Crest Whitening Emulsions’ advertising on TV, internet and social media have included Publicis and MMI.

Specifically, NAD recommended that P&G modify the brand’s claim of “faster," discontinue or modify its claim that the brand “stops stains before they set in,” and discontinue completely the following claims:  

  • “Best in Class results” 
  • “Starts working instantly” 
  • “Get a whiter smile in seconds”
  • “Stays on 10x longer” 
  • “Delivers 5x more active hydrogen peroxide" compared to other whitening gels and pens

Crest Whitening Emulsions, said to be Crest’s first-ever “leave-on-teeth” whitening product, is comprised of a hydrogen peroxide gel in a tube and a separate applicator wand.

Crest’s ARC Pen also uses hydrogen peroxide in a…well, pen-like applicator.

The seven-year-old SmileDirectClub, which cut its teeth on straightening products, now also sells several teeth whitening products, including its own pens.

Despite its name, SmileDirectClub products are now sold through brick-and-mortar retailers as well as directly.

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