ASA hits out at P&G and Unilever ads

Unilever-owned Elida Fabergé and Procter & Gamble have clashed over ads for their anti-perspirants in which both companies claim their own products are scientifically superior to their rivals’.

Unilever-owned Elida Fabergé and Procter & Gamble have clashed over ads for their anti-perspirants in which both companies claim their own products are scientifically superior to their rivals’.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) upheld both complaints and asked for all ads for P&G’s Secret Satin Dry Cream and Fabergé’s Sure Ultra Dry Cream to be withdrawn.

The regulator also stressed the importance of companies ensuring that they have documentary evidence to prove all claims before publishing an ad.

Elsewhere in the ASA’s monthly report, Fabergé escaped a ban on a poster campaign after the authority declined to uphold more than 200 complaints, mostly from the Muslim community.

The ASA ruled that the campaign for Organics shampoo, which showed a woman looking into her bikini bottoms next to the strapline “Keeps Hair Colour So Long You’ll Forget Your Natural One”, was neither sexist nor offensive.

Gossard did not fare so lightly after 39 people complained about its underwear ad campaign, created by Abbott Mead Vickers.BBDO. The ASA banned two of the lingerie company’s three posters for being too sexually explicit.

Book publisher Penguin was asked to withdraw a poster which showed a boy taking a gun from his pocket, next to the line “Be Here”, after the regulator agreed with five complainants, including a senior Metropolitan Police officer, that the ad was ambiguous.

The ASA said the poster, created by Mustoe Merriman Herring Levy, also breached the British Codes of Advertising and Sales Promotion because it did not have a clear safety message. The authority added that it could cause offence in areas that had experienced violent crime.

Cable & Wireless was asked to withdraw regional press ads and circulars for its digital interactive service from areas where the service was not yet available, after 12 people wrote to the ASA to complain.

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