U.K. Ad Watchdog Bans Katy Perry, Justin Bieber Pimple Cream TV Ads

Joe Pugliese

Proactiv commercials featuring British and American stars, including Jessica Simpson, were misleading, the group says.


LONDON - The U.K. advertising watchdog has banned a TV campaign for Proactiv pimple cream featuring such stars as Katy Perry and Justin Bieber, the Guardian reported.

The Advertising Standards Authority agreed with a complaint that the commercials were misleading as the product's U.S. and U.K. versions were different.

The home shopping TV campaign featured the music stars promoting the virtues of the product. They are also featured on Proactiv's web site along with testimonials from other celebrities, such as Jessica Simpson and Gabriella Ellis, one of the stars of British reality TV hit show Made in Chelsea.

ASA said that the product was made with different ingredients in the U.K. than the U.S. product promoted by the stars.

Proactiv maker Guthy-Renker said though that the celebrities had been sent the U.K. version of the product to use. It said that its "extremely detailed talent agreements" meant that the endorsements were "factually accurate and representative of their honest opinions."

Five of the seven celebrities that have been featured in the Proactiv campaign even submitted signed statements confirming that they had received and used the U.K. product.

The ad watchdog group emphasized that it wasn't challenging any of the celebrities' statements. However, "we considered the overall impression of the ads was that the celebrities were continued and regular users of Proactiv and noted the same endorsement claims were included on the U.S. Proactiv web site," it said.

The report didn't detail any terms of the celebrity endorsements.

Email: Georg.Szalai@thr.com
Twitter: @georgszalai

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