ASA rules Boots suncream ad ‘could harm children’s health’

Health and beauty retailer Boots has been slammed by the Advertising Standards Authority over a television ad that implied suncream was enough to protect a child’s skin from the sun.

The ASA ruled that the ad, promoting Boots’ Soltan suncream, “could lead to harm to children’s health”.

The commercial showed children mimicking adults by over-exposing themselves to the sun.

A voiceover explained the damage that UVA exposure can cause and how much exposure children get during their summer holidays. It also emphasised the fact that what was being shown was not normal behaviour.

The retailer and its agency, Mother, say they were trying to educate consumers on sun safety and provoke debate, and that the ad was deliberately surreal.

But the ASA – which launched an investigation after a number of complaints from consumers – ruled that the ad was misleading and potentially dangerous.

It accepted that the ad was trying to get across a serious message that children need to be protected from the sun but it ruled that the implication that Soltan offered children full protection and that it was safe for children to be out in the sun if they were wearing it was misleading and potentially harmful. • The ASA has ruled that broadband providers need to be clearer about the access speeds they are offering consumers after upholding complaints against telecoms company Bulldog.

Ads which used the words “up to” when talking about access speeds of more than two megabytes per second will now need to have additional clarification in the body text.

The regulator says new, supposedly higher-speed services are much more variable when it comes to actual access speeds and that companies must be explained this to consumers.

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