Christina Hendricks Nice ‘n Easy Ad Banned In UK For Being Misleading

hendrickspgadAs her run on Mad Men came to an end, famously redheaded actress Christina Hendricks started showing up in an ad for Procter & Gamble’s Nice ‘n Easy hair dye, where she transforms into a blonde. Now the commercial has been red-flagged in the UK after an ad watchdog declared it misleading.

According to the Advertising Standards Authority’s ruling, the regulator received complaints from professional hair colorists who said there was no way Hendricks’ bright red hair could have been converted to the “natural honey blonde” shown in the ad using only the Nice ‘n Easy product being advertised.

P&G admitted to shooting the color transformation in reverse — first dyeing the actress’s hair with the blonde coloring, and then dyeing it the next day to “natural light auburn” to get the “before” footage.

The company — one of the largest advertisers on U.S. TV — says it wanted to shoot the transition in the order demonstrated in the commercial, but that “Christina Hendricks had limited availability around the time of the shoots.” It argued that it would have had to first dye her hair auburn, then blonde, and then back to auburn “because the new shade was not yet to be publicly revealed.”

Hendricks maintained the red hair until March 2015, when it was dyed blonde again to coincide with the media push for her ad campaign.

In spite of claims from professional colorists to the contrary, P&G said that only the Nice ‘n Easy products were used to change the actress’s hair and that the products were used according to their instructions.

They argued that the 9% hydrogen peroxide solution in the blonde dye was high enough to lighten hair as shown in the ads.

The company also claimed that it did no post-production trickery — aside from removing some flyaway strands of hair — to alter Hendricks’ hair color.

But in the end, the ASA determined that the reverse order of the filming resulted in a misleading commercial.

“We acknowledged there were practical reasons for P&G having shot the ‘blonde’ part of the ad first,” reads the ruling. “However, we noted the colour effects shown had been achieved firstly by colouring the model’s hair to blonde after it had not been coloured for around eight weeks, and then by dyeing her hair from blonde to a vibrant red, whereas the impression given by the ad was that the effect had been produced when changing from the red shade to the blonde.”

P&G had provided photographic evidence of Hendricks’ hair shortly before the blonde dye job in an effort to show that it wasn’t demonstrably different than what’s seen in the ad.

But the ASA says the photo was taken weeks before the first change to blonde and that it “was not necessarily sufficient to demonstrate the colour of her hair almost two weeks later and were in any case concerned… that the effect shown in the ad had not been achieved in the way suggested.”

Additionally, the watchdog noted that the bright red and blonde colors shown in the commercial were much more vibrant than photos of Hendricks’ hair in 2015.

“For those reasons, we considered the evidence was not adequate to demonstrate that the effect shown in the TV ad could be achieved using the product alone,” reads the ruling, which concluded that the commercial “misleadingly exaggerated the capability of the product.”

So P&G is barred from airing the ad in its current form in the UK.

[via AdAge]

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