Wilkinson Sword wins ASA backing against Gillette ads

Watchdog’s ruling opens way to legal challenges to Gillette’s slogan and M3 Power claims

Wilkinson Sword is to claim a shock victory in its fight to stop rival Gillette asserting superiority in its advertising following a year-long battle in the UK.

Sources say the company has heard from the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) that it will formally rule next week that Gillette’s advertising has misleadingly claimed that Gillette razor products provide a better shave than Wilkinson Sword’s products.

Sources close to the company say the victory is likely to herald further challenges to Gillette’s UK advertising, including its iconic “The Best a Man Can Get” slogan. Wilkinson Sword is also understood to be looking at the validity of the scientific evidence supporting Gillette’s recently launched battery-powered razor M3 Power.

Although the ASA does not have the power to award damages to Wilkinson Sword, sources say the company can use the ruling to support a legal case alleging sales losses caused by misleading advertising.

A source adds that Gillette could still launch a last-minute appeal before the formal ruling, but Wilkinson Sword is confident that the final wording of the ruling will remain as it is.

One source claims that Gillette has already begun to “water down” its poster advertising for M3 Power. He adds: “This is a big win. The ASA has found with Wilkinson Sword that Gillette has been misleading consumers, and you cannot have one of the biggest companies in the world going to market with untrue claims.”

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