Toothpaste adverts broke rule on dentists

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Three toothpaste adverts are criticised today for implying that dentists recommend their products for sensitive teeth.

The Advertising Standards Authority has told Colgate Palmolive and GlaxoSmithKline to amend commercials in light of its findings. It says adverts for Colgate Sensitive and Sensodyne toothpastes breach rules which ban the inclusion of dentists' recommendations for treatments, products or ingredients.

The Colgate commercial showed a woman explaining that her dentist suggested she try a "sensitive" toothpaste for her sensitive teeth, while a tube of Colgate Sensitive appeared on screen. Colgate Palmolive argued that the dentist had not directly endorsed or recommended a specific product.

GlaxoSmithKline is criticised for two adverts which appeared during the same commercial break.

The first showed a dentist stating patients with sensitive teeth could treat their problem by changing toothpaste, a second showing a woman complaining about her sensitive teeth followed by on-screen text asking: "What did her dentist recommend?" GlaxoSmithKline said the first commercial was a disease awareness campaign, and that viewers would not link the messages in the two adverts.