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ASA crackdowns: the brands that found themselves on the naughty list this year

By Michelle Yeomans+

12-Dec-2013
Last updated on 12-Dec-2013 at 12:29 GMT

ASA crackdowns: the brands that found themselves on the naughty list this year

Cosmetics companies are still getting caught out for misleading claims in the UK and some of the top players were the biggest offenders this year. Let’s take a look at where they went wrong...

As the new year rang in, the bad news came first for UK skin care company Rodial, whose advertisement for a body sculpture cream featuring actress Mila Kunis rubbed some viewers up the wrong way.

Deceiving claims

According to the advertising watchdog, the complainant believed that the ad implied that Kunis' figure had resulted from using the 'body sculpture' cream, and therefore challenged whether the marketing exaggerated the results that were likely to be achieved from using the product.

Although Rodial provided product information on two of the active ingredients in the cream which they believed substantiated the efficacy claims, the ASA considered that most consumers would understand from the ad that using the product would reduce the appearance of cellulite and tighten their bottom, thighs and tummy.

Too raunchy..

By February it was luxury giant Chanel who felt the heat for its Coco Mademoiselle TV ad which the ASA found to have inappropriate sexual content broadcasted at a time when children would be watching.

The fragrance ad included scenes which showed actress Keira Knightley undressing herself which appeared during a screening of Ice Age 2.

In response, Chanel said the ad had appeared during time slots throughout the day and Ice Age 2 was chosen in the knowledge that it was not only a cartoon but included sharp humour that appealed to adults.

However; the watchdog disagreed, and said that although the undressing in the ad took place in the context of a photo shoot, it nevertheless considered those scenes involved sexually suggestive content.

The repeat offender

Johnson & Johnson had more than its fair share of contact with the ASA over the summer which found TWO of its Listerine Total Care mouthwash ads misleading for consumers.

The personal care giant was contacted by the watchdog in May and then again in July for ads that had received complaints due to its claims that "brushing alone isn't enough".

Despite brand representatives providing evidence, the Authority considered in both cases that consumers would understand the claim to mean that it was generally accepted within the dental community that brushing alone was not sufficient to maintain oral health, and that a mouthwash should also be used.

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