Ribena does not encourage decay

Your leader comment (MW September 28) concerning pressure group/corporate relationships contained a serious error in its reference the British Dental Association’s accreditation of claims made by Ribena ToothKind.

The Advertising Standards Authority upheld complaints against a SmithKline Beecham Ribena ToothKind advertisement. However, there has not been a High Court decision against this product or the BDA’s accreditation. We believe the ASA’s interpretation of the research is flawed and the decision is now going to judicial review.

So far as the BDA is concerned, claims that the product does not encourage tooth decay and minimises erosion have been substantiated by independent academic research. We adopted this position on the advice of the UK’s leading experts in the field of nutrition and dental disease. It would be good to see Marketing Week showing more awareness of the opportunities to reduce dental disease through innovation in this important field.

Dr Geoff Craig

Chair, Health and Science Division

British Dental Association

London

It appears we were premature in reporting that the High Court had found against SmithKline Beecham. In fact, the case is still pending – and for this error, apologies. The qualification does little to diminish the arguments advanced in Marketing Week (September 28) – Ed.

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