P&G provokes watchdog ire over Head & Shoulders ad

Procter & Gamble has been censured by advertising watchdog the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) for claims it made about the efficacy of its dandruff shampoo Head & Shoulders in a television ad.

Procter & Gamble has been censured by advertising watchdog the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) for claims it made about the efficacy of its dandruff shampoo Head & Shoulders in a television ad.

The claims had been approved by the Broadcast Advertising Clearance Centre (BACC). But the ASA says the ads are misleading because they give the impression the shampoo gets rid of dandruff, and not just visible flakes of dandruff.

The ad, created by Saatchi & Saatchi, shows a close-up of a man’s scalp with dandruff and the dandruff being washed away with a wave of water. A voiceover says: “Now there’s a new uplifting way to wash out your dandruff⦠With a splash of sea minerals and botanical extracts it leaves your hair 100% dandruff free.”

The ASA has ruled the ad cannot be shown again in its current form.

⢠The watchdog has also upheld a complaint against an Allied Bakeries TV campaign for Kingsmill Wholegrain & White bread, showing a group of people in white coats mulling over how to bake a healthy white bread. Rival British Bakeries, which owns the Hovis brand, complained the Kingsmill loaf is not the only white bread with the “extra goodness of the whole of the grain without any bits”. According to the BACC, Kingsmill had provided evidence to show it was the only white bread with wholegrain. But the ASA ruled the ad is misleading and should not be shown again.

⢠Meanwhile, complaints against a TV ad for Virgin Cancer Cover, in the style of a cartoon, showing a man being interrupted in various situations by a big letter “C”, which represents cancer, have not been upheld by the ASA. The campaign triggered 55 complaints for being offensive and trivialising cancer.

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