Boots in hot water over sun cream ad

20-09-2006

High street chemist Boots has been forced to pull an advert for its in house sun cream from the TV schedules after it was officially deemed to be "misleading" to consumers.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) made the ruling that the Soltan ad could not be shown in its present form after receiving nine complaints from viewers who believed the advert suggested children would be safe lazing in the sun if they wore the sun cream.

In the advert, a row of children were depicted lying stock still on a beach in full sunlight, with a voiceover warning that parents should take steps to ensure they protected their kids against damaging UV rays.

Boots claimed that the ad portrayed an "eerie, surreal atmosphere" and was designed to "dramatise the danger of sun exposure by showing children at risk".

The ASA admits that the advert showed an unrealistic scene, but remained unconvinced with Boots' protestations that the ad did not present Soltan as the only protection against the harmful effects of sun exposure.

"We concluded that the ad gave a misleading impression of the capabilities and performance of the advertised product and could lead to harm to children's health," the authority today said.

Boots insists that the ad was designed to "educate" consumers on the importance of children's health and safety, adding that the advert "had achieved the desired result of provoking debate about the dangers of sun exposure and the necessity of sun protection, particularly for children".


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