Olay Regenerist anti-wrinkle ad banned

LONDON - An Olay Regenerist television ad that claims pentapeptides are effective in reducing wrinkles has been banned by the Advertising Standards Authority after receiving almost 50 complaints due to lack of evidence.

The advertising watchdog received 46 complaints about the ad, which was created by Saatchi & Saatchi.

It features a woman in her office and a voice over which states: "I'm Eve Cameron, beauty journalist. Women who aren't ready for cosmetic injections constantly ask me to recommend a skin cream that really works. So I was excited when this study, revealed at the World Congress of Dermatology, showed that pentapeptides are effective in reducing the appearance of lines and wrinkles."

Many viewers complained that the ad was misleading and offensive because they believed it implied cosmetic injections were a natural next step for women as they got older.

Two viewers challenged whether the ad implied that Olay Regenerist could achieve the same results as cosmetic injections.

One viewer, a doctor, asked for scientific evidence proving pentapeptides were effective at reducing the appearance of lines and wrinkles. They also challenged whether the mention of a paper presented at the World Congress of Dermatology in the ad misleadingly implied the findings of that paper were supported by the scientific community.

The ASA did not uphold the first issue, but upheld the other three and said that the ad must not be broadcast again in its current form.

A clinical test by an advertising watchdog expert found that the difference between the observed changes in the control product group and the peptide containing product group were small at all stages of the trial.

He said the changes did not reach a level of significance sufficient to support the claim that pentapeptides were effective at reducing wrinkles.