Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Cheryl Cole's adverts fine, apparently

This is a bit of an open-and-shut case, right? Cheryl Cole appeared in an advert for Nestle L'oreal, punting some hair gunk which said could give her hair like hers. Except it couldn't, because she had hair extensions in. Oh, and you can't even use the product if you've got hair extensions. Not the worst piece of duplicitous advertising, but still, worthy of a reminder not to fib, eh, Advertising Standards Authority?

Apparently not.

We considered consumers would understand the message of the ads to be that the product could have some positive and achievable effect on their weak, dull, limp and lifeless hair but that they would not be misled into believing that, by just using the product, it would replicate for them the fullness of Cheryl Coles hair, because hers had been professionally styled. We concluded that the ads did not misleadingly exaggerate the effects of the product.

That's a bit weird - 'it's okay to illustrate your product with a totally impossible result because, hey, the schleps who slap L'Oreal on their heads are already crushed by life enough to know they're never going to look like Cheryl Cole" - but I can understand the logic.

But advertising a product that you can't use with hair extensions by using a model with hair extensions in - that, surely, is wrong, ASA?
We noted ad (a) showed Cheryl Cole wearing hair extensions but did not state that the product was suitable for use with extensions. We considered the text "Styled with some natural hair extensions" was likely to be interpreted as suggesting the models hairstyle included extensions, not that the product was suitable to care for them. We also considered viewers were likely to understand that they would need to check before using a product on their particular type of hair extensions. We concluded that the ad was not misleading.

Why not go the whole hog and just get someone in wearing a wig and a hat?

Still, nice to see self-regulation knows the job is to always err on the side of the advertiser than logic or honesty. Because they're worth it.