Schwarzkopf advert for sensitive hair dye deemed misleading

By Katie Bird

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Hairdressing, Advertising

Henkel-owned brand Schwarzkopf has been told by the UK Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) that its advert for sensitive hair dye is misleading, following a complaint from L’Oreal.

L’Oreal claimed that the ‘Igora Senea by Schwarzkopf Professional’ advert, which appeared in a number of professional hair dressing publications, was lacking in substantiation and misleading by suggesting that Igora Senea was the only product range of its kind available.

Hair dye ‘recommended by dermatologists’

Henkel’s magazine advert for its Igora Senea Schwarzkopf hair dye products underlines use for sensitive scalps. “Igora Senea by Schwarzkopf Professional is the first coloration tested and recommended by independent dermatologists,”​ the advert stated.

In addition, the advert claimed that the products could tempt back colour clients who have stopped colouring their hair due to irritation or discomfort as it provides an alternative to such treatments: “You can offer an exciting new colour service to clients who’ve previously put up with scalp discomfort because there was simply no alternative”.

However, competitor L’Oreal challenged whether the products really were suitable for sensitive scalps, suggesting that they may contain known irritants and allergens, as well as asking whether the advertisers had evidence to back up the claims that the product is recommended by dermatologists.

Furthermore, L’Oreal claimed that the advert was misleading in that it suggested Igora Senea was the only​ hair colouring product designed for sensitive scalps that could provide an alternative. According to the world’s largest cosmetics company, other hair colour products designed for scalp comfort have been available for some time.

Advert misleading as suggests only​ alternative

Following these challenges ASA requested more information from Henkel and concluded that Igora Senea was indeed suitable for sensitive scalps and did have dermatologists’ recommendations. However, ASA upheld L’Oreal’s complaint that Henkel’s advert may suggest to hairdressers that it was the only alternative available for sensitive scalps.

Reacting to this conclusion, a Henkel spokesperson told that they were satisfied with the ASA’s decision: “Igora Senea is a completely new product developed and formulated for sensitive and delicate scalps that has been recommended by dermatologists. We are very satisfied the ASA has agreed that these core claims have been substantiated and are therefore not misleading.”

“With this in mind, we certainly respect the ASA's decision to partially uphold the complaint on the more minor points, which do not affect the communication of the key benefits and innovations to consumers and we shall make the necessary minor adjustments to our advertising”​ the spokesperson added.

Related topics: Regulation & Safety

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