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hairy situation

This Mad Man star's hair dye ad has been banned for being 'misleading'

It said Christina Hendricks had dyed her hair from bright red to blonde.

Clairol / YouTube

THIS HAIR DYE ad starring Mad Men actress Christina Hendricks has been banned by the British Advertising Standards’ Authority (ASA) for being misleading.

In its ruling this week, the ASA said that Hendricks stated in the ad:

I’ve been the same shade of red for many years. I think it’s time to change it up. Goodbye red, hello golden blonde.

She was shown with blonde hair and text on screen stated “golden blonde”.


Two viewers (a senior hair colour educator and a hair colour educator) challenged the ad, saying they “understood the colour change depicted could not have been achieved using the product alone, [and] challenged whether the ad misleadingly exaggerated the capability of the product.”

Procter & Gamble, the company that owns Clairol, told the ASA that the colour change depicted in the ad was from Nicen’ Easy red shade 6R (natural light auburn) to blonde shade 8G (natural honey blonde).

First, Hendricks’ hair was dyed using shade 8G and the ‘blonde’ ad was shot. She didn’t colour her hair for around eight weeks before it was dyed blonde, but P&G said it was “still reflective” of Nicen’ Easy shade 6R.

The day after filming the blonde segment, her hair was dyed using the red shade, and that part of the ad shot.

They were conscious that particular care needed to be taken for reasons of hair health and it was also important that her hair was red after the shoots, because the new shade was not yet to be publicly revealed.

PG said that no post-production was carried out on the hair colour or on the rest of the hair, besides the removal of some flyaway strands.

clairol ad banned YouTube YouTube


Clearcast “said they had considered whether the ad reflected an achievable transformation, and had received an explanation from P&G that confirmed it was possible to achieve the effect shown, a change of two shades lighter, by using the product alone”.

The ASA considered that people who viewed the ad “were likely to understand the ad to mean the colour change shown could be achieved using the Nicen’ Easy product alone, when dying hair from the type of red shade depicted, to a similar blonde shade to that in the ad”.

But they noted the fact that Hendricks had dyed her hair blonde after it had not been coloured for eight weeks, and then dyed her hair from blonde to a vibrant red: “whereas the impression given by the ad was that the effect had been produced when changing from the red shade to the blonde”.

The ASA concluded:

Because the visual claim had not been substantiated, and given that the sequence in which the model’s hair was coloured leading up to the TV shoots did not match the depiction in the ad, we concluded that it misleadingly exaggerated the capability of the product.

It said the ad must not be broadcast again in its current form in Britain.

Read: 12 sexist ads that companies wish we’d forget they ever made>

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