advertisement for hair-growth hairspray banned as misleading
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Advertisement for hair-growth hairspray banned as misleading

Britain’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has banned a television commercial for Mane hairspray, claiming it was misleading and exaggerated. The commercial claimed that using Mane would give consumers the appearance of fuller natural looking hair in minutes. After reviewing the footage, the ASA determined the changed appearance of the hair was due entirely to factors other than the product’s performance.

According to the ASA, the company relied on camera tricks and careful editing to give the appearance the product delivered on its promises. The ASA claimed the hair on the male “before” picture was wet and greasy, making it appear thinner. The thick hair of the “after” picture was allegedly the result of combing over dry, fluffier hair rather than the application of Mane. The photos of the female subject in the same commercial were also deemed misleading by the ASA, which alleged that changed lighting and a more flattering pose were behind the apparent transformation.

The company that manufactures Mane denies the allegations by the ASA, and stands behind both the ad campaign and its product. The subject is a touchy one, especially for men; 75 percent of males over the age of 40 experience some degree of hair loss. Since ancient times, people have sought remedies for baldness, but the primitive treatments of hippo fat, pigeon droppings, and beetroot have given way to a multi-million dollar industry that runs from prescription drugs like Rogaine and Propecia to over-the-counter applications like Mane.

Effusive claims of near-miraculous transformations are rarely backed by hard facts, yet millions of consumers continue to search for the perfect cure. In banning the commercial for Mane, the ASA has taken arrayed itself firmly in the camp of the average consumer, and fired a warning shot sure to impact the industry at large in the months ahead.

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