An advertisement for Persil detergent, a brand from giant Unilever, which was claimed to be “the most eco-friendly on the planet” by the United Kingdom’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), was banned from its circulation on Wednesday.
The regulator concluded that the claim was vague and the ad “may be misleading”, particularly because it does not demonstrate that “the product’s full life cycle has less environmental impact than earlier formulations”.
“Advertising should not appear in its current form,” the ASA ruled, asking Unilever that future commercials “must have a clear basis for environmental claims” and that these “be based on the full life cycle of the products, unless that it is not otherwise stated.”
The ad, which aired on British television earlier this year, showed children picking up garbage on rivers and beaches. It claimed that the detergent, which is sold in partially recycled plastic bottles, is effective even at 30 °C and with shorter cycles.
Food and hygiene giant Unilever previously argued to the ASA that these two features actually make it more environmentally friendly, arguing in particular that the lower temperatures and shorter wash cycles use less energy. ,
But the regulator acknowledged that “it was unclear whether these were new developments and whether they were specific to the “laundry detergent” advertised or applied more broadly to the Persil category of products.
A month ago, the UK’s competition regulator announced that it was investigating a number of fashion brands such as Boohoo and Asos, which were accused of being heavy polluters, to see if their environmental promises on some products came true. because they were not often argued.