Raunchy shampoo ads featuring naked couples washing each other’s
hair will not be banned by the advertising industry’s watchdog despite
the campaign being one of the most complained-about of the year.
More than 130 people contacted the Advertising Standards Authority to
order its withdrawal, claiming the ads for the Nicky Clarke Sport
haircare range were gratuitous, explicit and offensive.
But the ASA this week refused to back the objections and ruled that the
ads were acceptable because they showed ’adults having harmless
The ads, by Publicis Focus, caused a stir when they began appearing in
national newspapers four months ago. One execution showed a naked woman
sitting astride her partner’s shoulders. Another, featuring two men
massaging each other’s scalps, ran in gay publications.
The Daily Mail ran one of the ads but declined to accept others after
receiving complaints. The Times and the Independent both ran the
campaign without question.
The Nicky Clarke Group denied the ads were explicit but said they were
relevant to the product and that the reference to ’partners’ in the text
emphasised that the featured couples were in committed
Meanwhile, Kellogg was ticked off by the ASA over a magazine ad which
linked weight problems to school bullying and suggested that Kellogg’s
cereals could help keep children’s weight down.
The ASA warned Kellogg that it must not repeat such advertising which,
it said, simplified and trivialised bullying problems and exploited the
insecurities of both children and parents.