Unsubstantiated Claims: A Marketing “Oops” to Avoid

Unsubstantiated Claims: A Marketing “Oops” to Avoid

There may be no more famous set of false teeth in all of cinema than the famous James Bond villain of the late 1970s, “Jaws.” The creator of those famous chompers got bitten in the rear end last year, and you shouldn’t make the same mistake.

If you’re over the age of 40 or just a big fan of 007 movies, you probably remember the bad guy Jaws in the films “The Spy Who Loved Me” and “Moonraker.” While those weren’t two of the best James Bond movies  – Roger Moore is no Sean Connery after all  – they did give us those iconic set of false teeth.

Those teeth were created by British dental appliance fabricator Luis Fairman. Last summer Fairman got in a bit of trouble for producing a YouTube video in which he called himself a dental technician. The problem is, the Brits have a law that says all dentists, orthodontists, dental nurses, dental technicians and hygienists must be registered, and Fairman was not.

So he got fined about 1,050 pounds, or about $1,700.

For his defense, Fairman said he was a dental technician before the law was passed and just never bothered to register. Now he is going to stick with calling himself a “dental mechanic” and repairing and producing dentures.

Here are two things about this:

  1. Be very careful of your wording choices.

Most of you live in states with at least SOME restrictions on how you can promote yourself. Some state dental associations are more strict than others, and our Canadian readers face even more restrictions than most of their American counterparts. Don’t let a “slip of the tongue,” as Fairman claimed, bring you negative publicity.

  1. Secondly, and even more importantly, don’t make false claims.

Don’t exaggerate your expertise. Don’t publicly claim certifications you don’t have, even if doing so seems minor. Here’s why:

A big part of what you sell is credibility. Most people will believe you if you say you are an expert in orthodontics, implants or sleep apnea. They have no reason to doubt you.

If you are doing a good job in your marketing, there will be plenty of instances online to back up your claim. But the truth has a way of coming out; and these days, with Google, Bing and Yahoo providing a wealth of knowledge for the asking, truth is more likely than ever to emerge.

If you do a promo video that says you are a “certified” in a particular treatment, you’d better really have a reputable organization standing behind that, and not that you participated in a two-hour seminar during your last state dental association meeting.

It will be a real black eye for you if a competitor researches your claim and outs you. Of course, it could really damage your practice if your state dental association nails you for doing so.

Instead, emphasize the things your really ARE certified in and really do well. Otherwise, those exaggerations could come back to bite you in the end.




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About the author
Colin Receveur is a nationally recognized speaker, author, and dental web marketing expert who has pioneered the way dentists market themselves online for the past decade. Since incorporating in 2001, Colin has established a rock solid track record with his dentist clients and turned SmartBox into a stalwart of proven results for hundreds of dental practices.