Complaint: 17/189

Reckitt Benckiser (NZ) Limited, Television


Reckitt Benckiser
Household Goods
No Grounds to Proceed
ASA Links
Website Listing
Decision Document





ADVERTISER Reckitt Benckiser (NZ) Limited

ADVERTISEMENT Reckitt Benckiser (NZ) Limited, Television

DATE OF MEETING 19 June 2017

OUTCOME No Grounds to Proceed

Advertisement: The television advertisement for Dettol Wipes shows a mother wiping over the kitchen surfaces with a raw chicken leg, while a voiceover says "Wiping germy surfaces with a sponge can be just as bad as doing that. Dettol disinfection wipes kills 99.9% of germs instead of spreading them round. To help protect your family - Dettol that!"

The Chair ruled there were no grounds for the complaint to proceed.

Complainant, M Barnham, said: I wish to express my complete disgust at an advertisement for Dettol Wipes as filmed by you. Wiping a raw chicken leg over domestic surfaces is pathetic, ignorant and misleading to many citizens. New immigrants particularly. Whoever in whatever advertising agency did this work, completely missed all hygiene and educated principles. I can only assume it came cheap.

As an elderly Kiwi I am bewildered that a product with an already accepted market needs a promotion by "too clever by half" idiots.

Reverse psychology certainly didn't work for this customer.

The relevant provisions were Code of Ethics - Basic Principle 4, Rule 2, Rule 4, Rule 5. The Chair noted the Complainant's concern that wiping a chicken leg over a domestic

surface was misleading in terms of hygiene practices.

The Chair said that on viewing the advertisement, it was clear that the Advertiser had employed an exaggerated scenario in order to highlight risks about the spread of germs when using a kitchen sponge. Given the hyperbolic nature of the advertisement, she did not consider that it would cause serious or widespread offence and was not likely to mislead consumers about proper hygiene.

The Chair ruled the advertisement had been prepared with a due sense of social responsibility to consumers and there was no apparent breach of the Code of Ethics.

Accordingly, the Chair ruled there were no grounds for the complaint to proceed.

Chai r' s Ruling: Complaint No Grounds to Proceed.