Truth in Advertising

We’ve all seen the lofty claims that manufacturers make in their ads. This product is 20% better than that one; this other one saves you X-amount of dollars, and this one here will wax your car. Does anyone believe these statistics anymore? The truth seems to be that many publications don’t vet the claims in the ads they run—they just take your money and say thank you. The notable exceptions we’ve encountered are ADA News and JADA, which actually have very stringent advertising standards that state, among other things, “advertising must be factual, dignified, tasteful and intended to provide useful product and service information,” and, “Advertisements must not be deceptive or misleading. All claims of fact must be fully supported and meaningful in terms of performance or any other benefit.” These are just a few lines excerpted from a policy that covers about two printed pages, a pretty significant amount of real estate.   

Should more publications adopt similarly stringent guidelines? Are dentists even aware that ADA News and JADA have such a policy? As a manufacturer, this can sometimes provide us with a few extra hoops to jump through, but our goal when we advertise with the ADA is to be in a credible journal with credible claims. Do you see ads in ADA News and JADA that way? What does it take for you to have faith in advertising claims, in ADA News, JADA and elsewhere?

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