Cresgate, Britain's largest manufacturer of toothpaste and toothbrushes has been fined just under half a million pounds due to claims that the names of its toothpastes are "at best misleading" and "at worst erroneous".
Cresgate gained the largest market share fifteen years ago when they introduced their Cresgate Entire toothpaste that was all that was required in a toothpaste. A massive advertising campaign highlighted how it rendered all other toothpaste mere minty foam.
"People bought the line that Cresgate Entire was the only toothpaste they needed," said Dennis Teener of the industry watchdog, OfDent. "It killed bacteria, removed plaque and freshed breath for twelve hours."
Nobody minded the advertised benefits of Cresgate Entire, until recently.
"I liked Entire," said dentist, Alan Dentay. "I used to recommend it to my victims. I mean, clients, haha."
Three months ago, new toothpastes appeared on the shelves from Cresgate.
"Suddenly there were six different toothpastes in the Entire range," said Teener. "This is where the problems started."
According to the complaint, advertising a toothpaste as the only toothpaste required, and then having a standard, one plus whitening, one plus enamel rebuilding, one for sensitive teeth and one for whitening sensitive teeth has left customers bewildered and confused.
"How can it be an entire toothpaste?" asked Dentay. "I mean, not one of them now does everything. People used to know that Entire was the easiest toothpaste, because it did everything. Now it doesn't."
Spokesperson for Cresgate, Colin Gate (no relation), has defended the company's policy of diluting the word 'entire'.
"It's just a name," said Gate. "If you lick a Volkswagen Polo, does it taste minty?"
Help may be at hand. Aural F, Cresgate's main rival in the cut-throat toothpaste business, is launching Oral F Complete, which rebuilds enamel, is sensitive, kills bacteria, removes plaque, whitens and freshens breath for forty-eight hours.
Colin Gate is not worried by Aural F's new product.
"Cresgate Entire Plus will be on the shelves soon," he said. "This does all that, and contains chemicals that promote the growth of new teeth where they're missing, rebuilds taste buds and contains pro-biotic bacteria for a healthy digestive tract."