Crest Pro-Health Mouth Wash brand under fire for causing discoloration of teeth
Crest, the leading overall mouth hygiene brand for many decades and the brand consumers aligned most with dentists, is facing a surprising battle over side-effects from using its relatively new Pro-Health product line.
In the highly competitive business of oral hygiene brands like Crest found they couldn't rest on the laurels of its brand history as other brands upped the ante in the category. In the mouthwash or "oral rinse" segment, Listerine pulled away from the pack including the Scope brand with the introduction of its revolutionary teeth whitening product.
Crest introduced a complete line of more expensive and efficacious products under the "Pro Health" sub-brand attempting to solidify its perceived tie to dentist's recommendations. Most notable was the mouthwash entry with its "alcohol-free" benefit which appealed to broad audiences especially mom's worried about kids "drinking" alcohol based alternative mouthwash brands.
Recently, consumer concerns about the "Pro-Health" brand surfaced all over the internet accusing Proctor & Gamble of not being forthcoming with the product's side effects. Notably, teeth discoloration (they apparently turn brownish) and taste altering issues (users lost taste sensation after using the product). The discoloration of teeth is the most damaging issue primarily because Americans have become obsessed with teeth whitening to the point where some folks older than 65 whose teeth should show normal wear and tear and discoloration now sport teeth whiter than young children's new teeth and on-par with Hollywood celebrities. (Is it just me who thinks some smiles now are just "too white" akin to overdone plastic surgery?)
On NBC's Today Show this morning these concerns were presented clearly causing Proctor some serious problems namely how to protect an established big brand from major damage. There are class action lawsuits pending and tons of negative comments on the internet especially on blogs about the brand which may prove very costly to Proctor.
P & G's spokesperson downplayed the concern and did not alay consumer fears sufficiently in my opinion to stop a negative backlash against the brand. Many consumers are calling for P & G to label the product with the side-effects instead of pretending they don't exist.
This could become a case where a sub-branded product entry could undermine one of the great brands in the HBA segment if P & G does not get on track and effectively handle this matter. The increased attention from media outlets like the Today Show now have the government agencies looking into consumer claims. Companies never want the government to get in their face and this is a great example of poor brand management.
If you have had a bad experience with the product, write me please. Tell me your story.
Watching out for you everyday.