UK regulator bans Unilever's 'misleading' green ad

Consumer goods giant Unilver made 'misleading' claims about the environmental benefits of its Persil detergent brand

Britain on Wednesday banned an advertisement from consumer goods group Unilever over “misleading” environmental claims for its laundry detergent brand Persil.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said the television advert, which claimed Persil was “kinder to our planet”, had failed to demonstrate environmental benefits.

The ad, featuring children picking up litter on rivers and beaches, stated that Persil bottles were made with 50-percent recycled plastic and that the liquid detergent cleaned at low temperatures.

“We concluded that the basis of the claim ‘kinder to our planet’ had not been made clear,” the ASA said in a statement.

“Additionally, in the absence of evidence demonstrating that the full life cycle of the product had a lesser environmental impact compared to a previous formulation, we concluded the ad was likely to mislead.”

The regulator ruled that the ad must not appear again in its current form.

Unilever said in response to the ruling: “We are disappointed with the ASA adjudication as this TV advertisement.

“We are committed to making on-going improvements to all our products to make them more sustainable and will continue to look at how we can share this with our shoppers.”