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COLGATE TARTAR CONTROL TOOTHPASTE AD CLAIMS V. CREST

Executive Summary

COLGATE TARTAR CONTROL TOOTHPASTE AD CLAIMS V. CREST assert that the Colgate product is more effective at inhibiting the formation of tarter than the Procter & Gamble product, according to new Colgate-Palmolive ads. The 30-second TV spots, which began airing April 30, state that Colgate Tartar Control toothpaste "has been proven better than Tartar Control Crest at fighting ugly tartar build-up. Over one-and-a-half times better in a three-month study. More than four-and-a-half times better in a six-month study. . . ." The TV ad is scheduled to run for two weeks, according to Colgate-Palmolive. It was designed by Young & Rubicam (New York) and replaces the non-comparative campaign used to launch the product. Full-page print ads appeared in the May 1 issues of The New York Times and USA Today. The ads were headed: "The truth comes out." Colgate-Palmolive's three-month clinical trial, conducted by Thomas Schiff, DMD, Washington University (St. Louis), showed that Colgate was 1.67 times more effective than Crest in reducing tartar formation above the gum line, according to Colgate-Palmolive. The second test was a six-month trial, conducted at Sweden's University of Gothenburg by Bengt Rosling, DMD. It showed that Colgate was 4.5 times more effective than Crest. Results of both studies were published in the March issue of the Compendium of Continuing Education in Dentistry. Schiff's double-blind study involved 119 adult "heavy tartar formers." According to a study summary, results after three months showed that Colgate Tartar Control reduced above gum-line tartar accumulations by 49.3%, versus Crest's 29.4% reduction. Rosling's half-year double-blind study involved 141 adult "moderate tartar formers." Data revealed that Colgate's toothpaste lowered tartar formation by 42.2% and Crest's by 9.23%, compared to a placebo. Colgate's tartar control superiority became more apparent during the second half of the Rosling study, the company maintains. In the last three months of the test, "there was virtually no growth of calculus [tartar] in the Colgate group, but both the Crest and the placebo groups continued to acquire significant amounts of calculus," according to the summary of the study. The results were reviewed and accepted by the American Dental Association, Colgate said. The tartar-inhibiting action of Colgate's pyrophosphates lasts longer than Crest's due to the ingredients' combination with a special copolymer called Gantraz, Colgate-Palmolive maintained. Colgate's pyrophosphates are a mixture of tetrasodium and tetrapotassium pyrophosphate, known as TC-3, and Gantraz, a 1% copolymer of polyvinly methyl ether and maleic acid (PVM/MA). Gantrez is supplied by GAF. The Crest soluble anti-tartar formula combines tetrasodium and disodium dihydrogen pyrophosphates, the company said. The dentifrices used in the studies both contained 0.243% sodium fluoride, 3.3% soluble pyrophosphate and silica (the cleaning and polishing agent). Pyrophosphates are the main anti-tartar ingredient in both dentifrices. They work by interfering with the mineral crystallization involved in the formation of tartar. Instructions for use were the same for both studies. Participants were given base-line examinations of tartar build-up using the Volpe-Manhold method of quantifying tartar deposits, then were assigned for twice daily use to one of three dentifrices: the commercially available Colgate, Crest anti-tartar products, or a placebo. Colgate Tartar Control currently holds a 10% share of the toothpaste market, and is "part of the fastest growing line of toothpastes in the United States," according to the company. Worldwide, Colgate-Palmolive said it manufactures four out of every 10 toothpaste units sold. The Colgate anti-tartar toothpaste was launched in August 1986. Crest's version was introduced in 1985.
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