Why Was This Christina Hendricks Clairol Commercial Banned From TV?

Hair Colors PaletteIn the United Kingdom, a Clairol hair color commercial starring Christina Hendricks has been pulled off the airwaves for deliberately misleading viewers.

Hendricks has been nominated for six Emmy Awards for her work on the U.S. television show “Mad Men,” in which she played fan favorite Joan Holloway. Besides her critically acclaimed work in film and TV, Hendricks is popularly known for her signature red hair and stunning good looks.

Hendricks recently starred in a TV commercial for the Clairol hair coloring product Nice n’Easy, which claimed to show the potential for women to go from strawberry blonde to Marilyn Monroe blonde overnight. The commercial featured before and after shots to show off the hair dye’s stunning powers of transformation.

The idea that before and after photos might not be 100% realistic should come as no surprise to most consumers; however, the U.K. Advertising Standards Agency said this particular advert went too far.

Here’s the twist — all the footage in the before and after photos was real. There was just one problem. Hendricks is actually a natural blonde. Before the commercial, the actress was instructed not to dye her hair for eight weeks. Once the production crew filmed her as a blonde, they dyed her hair red again. In the final commercial, the producers switched the before and after segments, which the ASA says “misleadingly exaggerated the capability of the product.”

The ASA was alerted to the shenanigans by two skeptical hair color experts, most likely ordinary British hair stylists. Clairol insists that even though the commercial played fast and loose with the phrase “before and after,” consumers really could achieve similar results at home with the product.

The company said in a 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. However, we respect the final decision of the ASA and will be removing the TV copy from air.”

You can read the full text of the ruling here.

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