4 Out of 5 Marketers Recommend This: Lessons on Statistical Interpretations


Colgate ran a classic ad in the early 2000s that received a lot of attention: 80 percent of dentists recommended Colgate toothpaste. Sounds like a stellar endorsement, right? Four out of five dentists would prefer you use Colgate over any other toothpaste — surely Colgate must be the best. But the attention the campaign drew was not positive. In fact, a statistical scandal came to light and put Colgate under fire.

The company surveyed dentists to come to this statistical conclusion, but had manipulated the survey and resulting statistics to work in its favor.

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