An Australian firm has been criticised by Britain's advertising watchdog for misleading consumers in an advert for hair-loss treatment featuring cricketer Shane Warne.
In its weekly adjudications the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) upheld one complaint that the offending advert could give customers the wrong impression that the product on offer could actively re-grow hair.
The national press advertisement from Advanced Hair Studio (AHS) featured the Aussie cricket legend with the caption "Advanced hair, yeah, yeah!"
Next to this image and caption a longer testimony from Warne said: "I've been hearing it for years but to me I've always taken it as 'warning'. And that warning is – if I didn't do something about my fine and thin hair they could well be chanting 'baldy!'
"So see Advanced Hair Studio... and your hair will be looking better than ever. Don't wait until it's too late, get your free advanced hair check and heed the Warne-ing today!"
The complaint upheld by the ASA challenged whether the advert had implied Warne had exclusively used the product in question, AHS-FP, to "treat his fine and thin hair" and ensure that the crowd had no reason to chant baldy".
In its defence AHS stated that the advertisement made no explicit claims to re-grow hair, suggesting the complainant was confused over different products on offer.
But the ASA said that "readers could infer that the AHS-FP had resulted in the slowing down or stopping of hair loss and/or the re-growth of Warne's hair", noting that AHS had no evidence to show its product could stop or reverse hair loss.
The ASA added that the advert had breached three clauses of the Committee of Advertising Practise code.
"If Shane Warne [is] used in future ads for AHS-FP, the ad should do no more than suggest that the advertised treatment had a cosmetic effect," the watchdog said in conclusion.
AHS has now had five complaints upheld against its non-broadcast adverts since 2002.