A TV ad for Vagisil anti-itching creme, seen in July 2017, stated “Did you know there are over 60 reasons your intimate area could feel itchy? Let’s do something about it. Vagisil medicated creme. Get the fast relief you need”.
The complainant challenged whether the claim “there are over 60 reasons your intimate area could feel itchy” was misleading and could be substantiated.
Combe Inc provided a list of the causes of vaginal itching. They stated that the central message of the ad was the product’s efficacy, rather than the fact that there were over 60 reasons for intimate itching. They said that the consumer was unlikely to make her purchasing decision based on the number of causes of vaginal itching, therefore they did not believe that the claim was material to the ad or likely to materially mislead, and in any case they were able to substantiate the claim. They also stated that they would no longer be running the ad.
Clearcast stated that the ad was approved in 2013, based on an ad previously approved in 2011. Evidence had been submitted to their expert, who was content with the claims being made.
The ASA noted that the ad stated “Did you know there are over 60 reasons your intimate area could feel itchy? Let’s do something about it”. We considered that viewers would understand this to mean that vaginal itching could be caused by over 60 different factors, and that Vagisil would help treat the symptom regardless of its cause. We noted that the document provided by Combe Inc listed 64 different causes of vaginal itching, including skin conditions, environmental factors, and irritation caused by the use of sanitary products. We considered that the claim had been substantiated and was not misleading.
We investigated the ad under BCAP Code rules 3.1 (Misleading advertising) and 3.9 (Substantiation), but did not find it in breach.
No further action required.