I saw this shampoo ad yesterday on the London Underground. On passing it looks like they’re saying I could get up to 96% less hair loss if I use Pantene Shampoo. Well, actually that’s what it does say. This is worth stopping for: as long as I’m using Pantene Shampoo even when I’m a hundred years old I may only have 4% less hair than I have now.
It doesn’t say only for women – so it applies to men too. If a man begins when he’s happy with his hair then for his whole life, he has a chance of only losing 4 in every 100 hairs. What a blessing we may have in Pantene.
What does ‘up to’ mean? Whilst there is no fixed rule about what ‘up to’ means the Advertising Standards Authority generally views it as approximately 10% of the sample referred to.
Could this mean as long as I’m using Pantene shampoo I have a I in 10 chance of only losing 4% of my hair? No! Because the weeny letters at the bottom of the ad are different- they say:
Pantene helps prevent hair breakage up to 96% better than a non conditioning shampoo
It says nothing about actual hair loss. First, Pantene was tested against what they call ‘a non conditioning shampoo’ . Second it wasn’t for hair loss it was tested for hair breakage. To my mind there’s a difference. When my hair breaks – I lose an end bit of one hair. I don’t lose the whole hair. Third, Pantene need to show that if one of my hairs breaks I’ll lose the whole of that hair at the root. Or will I just get a few shorter hairs?
If the ad stands up to the Advertising rules it should give me up to 96% less hair loss as it says in the big letters at the top or will it just do what it says in the weeny letters at the bottom ?
If I don’t use it might I have only 4 hairs left in a few years out of every 100 hairs I have now? The Advertising Standards Authority says:
More complex comparisons, such as a comparison between the efficiency of products or a market-wide price comparison, are likely to involve a large amount of quite technical evidence. In those cases, the ad should include enough information about the basis of the comparison to ensure that consumers aren’t misled and direct them to where the full information needed to verify the comparison can be found. https://www.asa.org.uk/news/vexed-by-verifiability-how-to-make-sure-your-ads-comply.html
Would the ad have stopped me if it had told me to use Pantene because –
“one in 10 people using Pantene Shampoo as opposed to a non conditioning shampoo will only break 4 in 100 hairs due to their choice of shampoo. The rest of you may break more”