|JezUK Ltd - I know you're all dying to find out what ...|
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I know you're all dying to find out what the ASA made of my complaint about Domestos spray. Well, they didn't uphold it. The ASA accepted Unilever's assertion that their intention in this advert was to educate people about the role of hygienic cleaning of surfaces using bleach to kill all kinds of germs, including flu. Either Unilever has gigantic balls to try this, or the ASA has no balls at all by accepting it.
Advertisements, by definition, are not educative in any sense other than to alert people to your product's existance. Further, a picture of a bottle of bleach and the slogan "Kill Flu Germs, It's Self-Defence. Millions of Germs Will Die" hardly helps to inform people that a regular hygienic cleaning regime, with a suitable product, of frequent hand-contact surfaces such as taps, switches, handles and phones was an effective way of reducing the risk of flu nor will it make them aware that flu, and other germs, could be contracted from surfaces or killed by bleach.
If this was Unilever's intent, then why choose to highlight flu? Flu is primarily spread by aerosol droplets of saliva or by direct contact with an infected person. NHS Direct, for example, makes no mention of transmission of flu via kitchen surfaces. Why not the far more obvious example of food poisoning - campylobacter or salmonella, for instance? All the advice I've read on avoiding food poisoning (like this) mention keeping utensils, cutting boards and work surfaces clean. Perhaps they just picked a bad example. Perhaps they're backtracking and trying to make it fit retrospectively.
I wonder if I can appeal the ASA ruling?
I think there is a complaint to be made about this add but It think its more along the lines of: it could encourage people to use Domestos against people.
Do you remember the stories from a few years ago about people loading their SuperSoakers (tm) with bleach?