Reckitt Benckiser's Finish ad banned for exaggerating cleaning claims

Reckitt Benckiser (RB) has had an ad for its Finish detergent brand banned after the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said it held "inadequate" evidence to demonstrate its efficacy.

The advert, starring Carol Smiley, showed the presenter in discussion with Dr Lisa Ackerley, who was described as an expert in household hygiene. It demonstarted the amount of dirt that would build up in a dishwasher if the cleaning product was not used, and claimed that the machine would be less effective at cleaning a load.

One viewer felt the complaints were exaggerated and misleading.

RB said the dishwasher cleaner was a two-part product with a unique dual-action formula which, when used regularly, removed grease and limescale build-up from the vital parts of the dishwasher. They said they had provided evidence to Clearcast to demonstrate the product's efficacy and supplied a study containing consumer perceptions.

However, the ASA said it did not feel that on its own a study measuring consumers' perceptions of how well a product worked constituted evidence of its performance. The watchdog said in a statement: "Because we considered that viewers would interpret the ad to mean that a dishwasher would clean a load more effectively when a consumer used Finish dishwasher cleaner, as opposed to no cleaning product, and we had not seen sufficient evidence to confirm that this was the case, we concluded that the ad was misleading".

The ad must not appear again in its current form.

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