Wrigley's Eclipse Gum May Not Kill Germs, as Claimed in Ads

Last Updated Apr 8, 2009 3:29 PM EDT

Wrigley's Eclipse gum may not actually "kill" the germs that cause bad breath, according to a new ruling by the National Advertising Divsion. NAD is an industry supported advertising police force.

The Eclipse campaign had been claiming:
Most other gums just mask bad breath. We kill the germs that cause it. New Eclipse now contains a natural ingredient that kills the germs that cause bad breath.
Eclipse is still claiming that the ingredient, MBE, kills germs (web site pictured). It's not quite true, it turns out. NAD found that:
... overall, the advertiser's testing showed some promising results as to MBE's germ-killing ability. However, NAD noted that methodological flaws, particularly the failure to replicate actual use conditions, prevented the studies from rising to the level of support necessary to substantiate the claims.

NAD recommended that the print advertising and packaging claims be discontinued or modified to indicate that there is emerging evidence as to MBE's germ killing capability without expressly or by implication communicating that there is credible scientific evidence that the gum has been proven to kill the germs that cause bad breath or provides fresh breath based on any germ-killing capability.
The Eclipse account was last seen being awarded to BBDO.

Doubtless the copywriters there will love working around the phrase "New Eclipse now contains a natural ingredient for which there is emerging evidence that it kills the germs that cause bad breath." Mm, snappy!

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