Cookies policy statement
We are using cookies on our site to provide you with the best user experience.
Disabling cookies may prevent our website from working efficiently. Click ok to remove this message (we will remember your choice).

ASA Adjudication on Superdrug Stores plc

Superdrug Stores plc

118 Beddington Lane


22 February 2012


Radio, Internet (sales promotion), Point of sale



Number of complaints:


Complaint Ref:



A radio ad and claims on a website for Superdrug Stores plc.

a. A female voiceover, for the radio ad, stated "... I got three for two on all cosmetics at Superdrug. That includes Rimmel, Max Factor, Maybelline ...".

b. On 27 October 2011 the website stated "3 for 2 mix & match across all cosmetics".


The complainant, who understood that the Rimmel compact bronzing powder was not included in the offer, challenged whether the claims "three for two on all cosmetics" in ad (a), and "3 for 2 mix & match across all cosmetics" in ad (b) were misleading.

CAP Code (Edition 12)



Superdrug Stores plc (Superdrug Stores) said the Rimmel compact bronzing powder was part of Rimmel's Sun Shimmer bronzing range and was not included in the offer. They said it was widely considered in the beauty industry that bronzing products were in a separate category to cosmetics. They also said bronzing products covered self-tanning lotions and bronzing powders while cosmetics covered, among other items, mascara, eyeshadow and lipstick.

They said bronzing products were clearly displayed separately and as distinct from cosmetics, both in stores and online. They submitted two photographs of one of their stores which they believed demonstrated this. They said it was clear that the Rimmel compact bronzing powder was not part of the offer and that, because all cosmetics were included, the ad was not misleading.

The Radio Advertising Clearance Centre (RACC) said, prior to clearance, they received written assurance from the advertiser that the promotion was valid.



The ASA noted from the photographs of a Superdrug store that one unit displayed a range of bronzing and self-tanning products from different manufacturers, while another displayed Rimmel products only. We also noted that the Rimmel compact bronzing powder was part of Rimmel's Sunshimmer range that was displayed in the unit with other bronzing and self-tanning products and listed under "Skin Care" and not "Make Up" on the website. However, we noted that some Rimmel bronzing products were displayed in the same unit as other Rimmel products in-store, and were listed under "Make up" on the website and considered that most consumers would generally understand bronzing powders to be included in the category of cosmetic products. In the absence of qualification to clarify that some bronzing powders were excluded from the offer, we concluded that the ads were misleading.

Ad (a) breached BCAP Code rules 3.1 and 3.2 (Misleading advertising) and 3.10 (Qualification) and ad (b) breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 3.1 and 3.3 (Misleading advertising) and 3.9 (Qualification).


The ads must not appear again in their current form. We told Superdrug to clarify significant exclusions in future offers.

Follow Us

For ASA news, including our weekly rulings, press releases, research and reports.

How to comply with the rules

For advice and training on the Advertising Codes please visit the CAP website.

Make a complaint

Find out what types of ads we deal with and how to make a complaint.

Press Zone

This section is for journalists only. Here you will be able to access embargoed material, breaking news and briefing papers as well as profile details for the ASA press office.