Boots criticised over 'misleading' sun cream adWatchdog says ad exaggerated sun protection claims

20 September 2006

High-street chemist Boots has been slammed over a 'misleading' TV advert which suggested its sun cream offered children complete protection from the harmful effects of the sun.  

The (ASA) said the commercial for Soltan was misleading because it suggested it was safe for kids to be out in the sun if they were wearing the product, and the ad could even lead to children's health being harmed.

The TV advert showed youngsters with very tanned skin lying on a beach sunbathing. A voiceover said: ‘UVA exposure from the sun causes long-term skin damage. And if you knew that more than half the annual exposure your child receives could happen during their summer holidays, you'd protect them with Boots Soltan, the number one range of children's five-star UVA protection.’

'Misleading'

But the advertising watchdog said it was equally or more important for children to cover up in the sun or avoid the sun altogether.

The ASA concluded that the advert 'gave a misleading impression of the capabilities and performance of the advertised product and could lead to harm to children's health’. The ASA also told Boots not to broadcast the ad again in its current form.

Boots said it intended the ad to educate consumers on the importance of children’s safety in the sun and believed it had achieved the desired result of provoking debate about the dangers of sun exposure and the necessity of sun protection, particularly for children.

Sun screen investigation

A Which? investigation in July found some sun screens didn't offer the protection claimed by manufacturers and could put your health at risk.

We found that while expensive products excelled in our tests, some cheaper products failed to live up to their claims.