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Commercials tend to promise some fairly unbelievable things. They’ve done that pretty much since the form of advertising originated. Having said that, every once in a while, the annoyances in the middle of TV are actually held accountable for their claims. That’s what has happened to Christina Hendricks’ new Clairol ad in the U.K., which has been pulled for being misleading.
The ad in question depicts the Mad Men actress dyeing her hair from red to blonde. As you might expect, her hair magically transforms from the vibrant red that we all know and love to a bright blonde, as if by magic. Well, according to the U.K.’s Independent and a couple of “hair color educators” - which is apparently a thing that they have in the U.K. - it must have been magic because there was no way the Clairol product could have possibly transformed her hair like that. Great Britain’s Advertising Standards Agency received complaints from these hair color experts
As it turns out, these experts apparently know their stuff because they were right. In reality, Hendricks is a natural blonde that has been dyeing her hair for years, and she let her hair grow out and did not dye it for the eight weeks leading up to the advert (because British words are fun). Then they dyed Hendricks hair blonde, and then they dyed it red in order to film the beginning of the commercial.
In Clairol’s defense, they apparently did only use their product, and Hendricks herself provided a signed statement to that effect. They just mixed up the order, I guess. There do certainly appear to be some shenanigans. Procter & Gamble have been ordered to pull the commercial in its current form which, since there’s really no other way to air it, means it’s now gone for good. You can check out the ad here.
Setting aside that the fact that the thing that should be banned here is Christina Hendricks as a blonde, it’s just not right, and we’d like to thank our cousins across the Atlantic for doing it right. In the U.S., we ban ads because they’re too suggestive, or because they involve selling dogs. These are absolutely good reasons, but seriously, when was the last time we banned an ad because it was wrong or because it made promises it couldn’t keep? That’s pretty much ever ad on television, isn’t it?