Ad Alert


NAD finds dry mouth relief claims hard to swallow.

The National Advertising Division aka The National Advertising Division (NAD) is the advertising industry’s self-regulatory body administered by the Council of Better Business Bureaus. says TheraBreath’s advertising claims to help relieve the symptoms of dry mouth are (forgive the pun) hard to swallow. The simple reason? TheraBreath — or, more precisely, its marketer, Dr. Harold Katz, LLC — does not have sufficient evidence to make such claims.

It all started with a challenge to TheraBreath’s advertising to NAD by pharma giant GlaxoSmithKline, marketer of competing Biotene brand oral care products (wow, that’s a mouthful). Among the challenged claims on product packaging for TheraBreath oral rinse and TheraBreath lozenges (pictured):

  • “Helps relieve dry mouth symptoms”
  • “Helps to sooth (sic) and moisturize a dry mouth”
  • “[Created to] help patients with discomfort associated with dry mouth”
  • “Contains a gentle plant-derived mouth-watering natural salivary enhancer that tinges and moisturizes the mouth”
  • “[N]atural salivary enhancer”

In its inquiry NAD took issue with how Dr. Katz substantiated these claims, in addition to others, with “consumer-use surveys” and studies on certain ingredients that NAD said weren’t up to snuff. For one thing, NAD said, the surveys failed “to properly determine whether survey respondents displayed symptoms of dry mouth.” And in regard to the ingredient studies:

NAD determined the advertiser did not submit sufficient evidence that the products at issue in the ingredient studies it provided had active ingredients in the same dosage and formulation as TheraBreath products.

NAD recommended that Dr. Katz discontinue the claims outlined above — a decision that Katz said it would appeal to the National Advertising Review Board.

Find more of our coverage on oral care products here.

Our Ad Alerts are not just about false and deceptive marketing issues, but may also be about ads that, although not necessarily deceptive, should be viewed with caution. Ad Alerts can also be about single issues and may not include a comprehensive list of all marketing issues relating to the brand discussed.

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