Nestlé has taken steps to withdraw its ‘The Smile Factory’ advertising campaign following an appeal from the British Society of Dental Hygiene and Therapy (BSDHT) mentioned in the September issue of BDJ Team (http://www.nature.com/articles/bdjteam2016131).
The BSDHT had deep concerns about the Rowntree's advertising campaign, labelling it hugely misleading and irresponsible for its portrayal of sugary sweets being linked to happiness and smiling.
In a letter received by the BSDHT, Nestlé has acknowledged their responsibility in advertising towards children and have reviewed the campaign accordingly. As a result, Nestlé has confirmed that they will not continue to use the strapline ‘The Smile Factory’ as part of their advertising with immediate effect.
President of the BSDHT, Michaela ONeill, believes this swift and decisive action should be a catalyst for other sweet manufacturers in reviewing their own advertising campaigns: ‘This is a positive action from Nestlé of which we are highly appreciative; they have listened to our concerns and recognised that real care is needed when advertising sugary foods, especially to children.
‘We recognise that ‘The Smile Factory’ campaign was not intended to directly target children but through its use of bright colours and cartoon-like nature it did undoubtedly appeal to them.
‘We urge all food and drink manufacturers to think more carefully about their advertising campaigns in the future and about the wider health implications of their messaging.
‘We would again like to extend our gratitude to Nestlé for taking action on this and also call on them to do more to try and change the course of oral health in the UK through further decisive action.’