TVB ticked off by HK media watchdog over ‘misleading’ Nivea ad

Nivea ad stillA TV ad for Nivea has fallen foul of Hong Kong’s media watchdog for making misleading claims about a deodorant brand for men.

The ad, which featured a man whose armpit-stained shirt repulses a girl in a nightclub, falsely claimed that the deodorant would not leave yellow stains on white clothes, a member of the public has complained.

In Cantonese the ad, which ran on free-to-air broadcaster TVB, claimed ‘No yellow marks on white clothing and no white marks on black clothing’, with test results to back up the claim superimposed at the bottom of the screen.

However, the Communications Authority found that the test results only proved that the product could reduce or delay stains – not avoid them altogether.

A statement from the CA reads: “The claim was deliberately phrased and presented in the advertisement in absolute terms. The wording, together with the superimposition of the source and year of the relevant tests, gave viewers an impression that the claim was a factual claim, which was supported by evidence.”

The CA added that that the claim “appeared to be the most important attribute and selling point of the advertised product, which was named “NIVEA Deodorant Invisible for Black & White”.

The CA stated that “as an experienced  broadcaster” TVB should have been able to identify the “problematic advertising claim” from the test reports submitted by the advertiser before the ad was aired.

The watchdog said that TVB should be “strongly advised” to observe Hong Kong’s advertising code more closely in future.

A similar version of Nivea’s ad – created by DraftFCB – has run in Malaysia, but it claimed to “reduce” yellow stains on white not eliminate them completely.


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