Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Hair today, gone tomorrow!

As someone who is follicly challenged, I was interested to see the Advertising Standards Authority in the UK ruled against an advert by Advanced Hair Studio which claimed that their laser therapy had been approved and could reduce or stop hair loss and/or grow new hair. I have been combing the web and it seems that while this laser treatment has been "cleared" by the Food and Drugs Administration in the US, it has not been approved. Advanced Hair Studio appear to be scratching their heads at the decision.

I don't know the ins and outs of this, but I do remember a really long (must have been 3-4 minutes) ad for them on TV3 a few months ago. They had a list of sports stars lined up to endorse the product and it seems life would come to an end when your full head of hair disappears!

The bald facts?

The serious angle to this is that it is important that consumers are not sold false promises on these types of products. I am not saying that these AHS treatments don't work, I don't know if they do or not. What I do know is that it is vital that claims being made in advertising such as this can be substantiated. Unfortunately in Ireland, like the UK advertising is self regulated, so unless someone complains the advert won't be reviewed or looked at. And even if judged to be misleading it will be withdrawn many months later, when consumers may well have bought the product or service. And since there are no penalties, it can be worth the risk to run an advert that sails close to the wind. In Ireland we need legislation and an independent body to protect consumers from misleading advertising.