Pond's chooses to withdraw pimple ad after ASA hearing

Ponds will have to rethink the marketing of its Pimple Clear Face Wash product‚ following a complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

While the ASA found that the advert‚ which promised users skin would be “pimple free in 3 days“‚ was not problematic‚ Unilever’s decision to voluntarily withdraw the advert meant the company should discontinue it.

Ponds was taken to the authority by competitor Beiersdorf‚ which manufactures Nivea and Eucerin products.

Corporate legal consultant Ray Lécolle-Brown lodged a competitor complaint on behalf of Beiersdorf against Unilever’s advertising for its Pond’s Pimple Clear Face Wash product.

Lécolle-Brown citing a 40-year old rule‚ argued that the pimple and blemish treatment are regarded as medicinal claims that require registration of such products.

Unilever South Africa on behalf of Ponds withdrew the claims that constituted the complaints but claimed that the citing of such an old rule that regarded pimples as a medical term and not a cosmetic term was ‘misplaced’.

Unilever said the testimonials by its consumers were indeed true and it was justifiable to use them in the advertising of the product.

However‚ the authority ruled that the use of the phrases ‘Your skin is pimple free in 3 days’‚ ‘No more recurring breakouts’‚ and ‘Eradicates pimples at the root’‚ did not suggest that the product would offer a type of medical care or a cure for a particular illness or injury.

The Advertising Standards Authority said the heart of the matter was the question of whether or not the product advertising was being promoted using medically unacceptable claims.

The authority concluded that the advert did not suggest that the product would offer a type of medical care or a cure for a particular illness or injury‚ but in light of the voluntary withdrawal‚ the advert should not be used in its original format.


TMG Digital



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