A Clairol television commercial for Nice ‘n Easy hair dye has been banned in the United Kingdom for misrepresenting Christina Hendricks’ dye job. Whoops!
The Advertising Standards Authority ruled this week that Procter & Gamble had misled viewers by shooting the footage for Hendricks having blonde hair before they shot the footage of her having red hair—and then, in the commercial (which you can watch above), presenting the transformation the opposite way.
“I’ve been the same shade of red for many years,” Hendricks says in the ad. “I think it’s time to change it up! Goodbye red; hello golden blonde.”
Hendricks is a natural blonde, and has been dying her hair red for years (according to another Clairol video, the brand was actually the first to take her red, for a commercial she did when she was a young model). In October 2014, before P&G had her go blonde, Hendricks went eight weeks without coloring her hair, so that some of the red would wash out of it. The company then dyed her hair blonde and shot that part of the ad. The next day, they dyed her hair red, and shot the red hair part of the campaign the day after that.
After announcing Hendricks as a Clairol brand ambassador in January, the campaign was revealed in March 2015. From the ASA:
After the October 2014 TV shoots, Christina Hendricks used the same red shade until during March 2015, when her hair was again coloured with the blonde shade in order to prepare for a press ‘reveal’ and to ensure P&G were in a position to substantiate the claims in the new TV ad. They said that had been the best way to obtain support for the claims while fitting in with the model’s schedule.... They provided a signed statement from the colourist that related to that occasion, along with a signed statement from Christina Hendricks and ‘before’ and ‘after’ shots, from both the ad and the press announcement.
In their report, the ASA concluded that though “there were practical reasons for P&G having shot the ‘blonde’ part of the ad first,” Hendricks’s hair when it was re-dyed blonde in 2015 was not nearly as “vibrant” as it had been when the blonde part of the commercial had been shot originally. Non-campaign photos of Hendricks in March following the blonde “reveal” back up the ASA’s claim; she looks like far more of a redhead than in the Clairol commercials.
“I guess the advice I would give to someone who wanted to make a big change in their life, which I feel like I’m going through right now, is to take a deep breath, be optimistic, look forward, and I would say look at it is as a brand new opportunity,” Hendricks says in one of Nice ‘n Easy’s behind-the-scenes videos. “Shifting to a new shade is sort of a new beginning.”
As The Daily Mail notes, Procter & Gamble is “disappointed” with the ruling, but they “respect the final decision of the ASA and will be removing the television copy from air with immediate effect.”
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