Sanex ad banned for natural ingredient implication

Colgate-Palmolive has been rapped by the ad watchdog over a campaign for its Sanex Zero% bathing range that misleadingly implied its products were free of man-made chemicals.

The television campaign, which ran in October, featured naked people applying coloured substances to their bodies. It is not clear whether it was created in-house or by an agency.

The ad began with a voiceover that stated, "we put so many different chemical ingredients onto our skin", before cutting to a woman using the advertised product, which, "contains just the ingredients you need for clean, healthy skin".

In addition to a complaint that the campaign implied the product contained no-man made chemicals, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) also received a complaint that the range contained ingredients not necessary for clean and healthy skin.

Colgate-Palmolive defended itself by pointing out the ad made no reference to natural ingredients.

Industry body Clearcast said the ad was not misleading, even though the product contains fragrance, as consumers believe the ingredient plays an important part in creating the feeling of clean skin.

The ASA threw out Colgate-Palmolive's objections because it believed the context of the ad would lead the viewer to come to the conclusion the product contained no man-made chemical ingredients and was made from only natural ingredients.

The ad watchdog also ruled that the use of fragrance only affected enjoyment of the product and was not an essential requirement and for these reasons has banned the advert in its current form.

Follow Matthew Chapman at @mattchapmanuk

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