The ASA just dropped a (blonde) bombshell. A Clairol commercial for the label’s Nice ‘n Easy hair dye, featuring brand ambassador Christina Hendricks, has been banned in the U.K. for misrepresenting the star’s red-to-blonde color transformation.
The Advertising Standards Authority ruled that Proctor & Gamble mislead viewers to believe Hendricks’ dye job — a bright red to a golden blonde — was shot in the order of the transformation — when in reality, the commercial was first filmed in reverse order — when Hendricks was a blonde and then once she was red.
The ruling came after two hair color educators filed complaints to the ASA claiming “the color change depicted could not have been achieved using the product alone.” The ASA also decided that P&G “misleadingly exaggerated the capability of the product,” claiming that Hendricks’ major mane makeover could not have been done with just a single box of hair dye.
Clairol responded to the ruling with the following statement:
“We are disappointed in the outcome as we are confident that the color change we depicted in the TV copy (from Nice ‘n Easy shade 6R — Natural Light Auburn to Nice ‘n Easy shade 8G — Natural Honey Blonde) is possible and consumer achievable using our products,” the hair color brand told People.
The brand added: “However, we respect the final decision of the ASA and will be removing the TV copy from airing in the UK effective immediately.”
During the filming of the commercial in question, People sat down with Hendricks to chat about her new blonde hue, explaining the color change-up was her way of saying goodbye to her famous Mad Men character, Joan Holloway.
“It’s [the end of Mad Men] sort of the impetus behind my color change,” she said. “I had been red long before I had played Joan, but they did start to become sort of the same person. I started relating the red to Joan. When everything was coming to an end, and all of sudden I was moving to New York and all these changes were happening I thought why don’t I just embrace the change and change a little bit of everything, and give Joan a nice little send off. It was sort of an emotional thing for me too.”