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Truth in advertising

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June 1, 2005

June 2, 2005 If you’re an average person with a fundamental understanding of the laws of physics, you’ll no doubt from time to time leap off the couch when you see the claims of a television commercial and scream “that is utter bollocks!” It seems some people agree with you, at least about Gillette’s US advertising claims about its new M3Power razor. Judge Janet C. Hall of the United States District Court, District of Connecticut, yesterday granted Schick a preliminary injunction against false advertising claims by Gillette for its M3Power razor. Judge Hall determined that Gillette's claim that the M3Power raises hair up and away from the skin is both "unsubstantiated and inaccurate." The court found that that the product demonstrations in Gillette's advertising are "greatly exaggerated" and "literally false."

As a result of this preliminary injunction, Gillette will have to immediately cease making the false claims in television commercials and print advertising and, within 30 days, must change packaging for the product and remove in-store displays that feature the false claims. It is unclear what measures Gillette will have forced upon them in other countries as the specific claims cited by Judge Hall appear to have been made on a global basis.

"The scientific evidence indicates that Gillette's claims for M3Power go well beyond the capabilities of the products," says Joe Lynch, President, Schick-Wilkinson Sword. "We firmly believe that since the day the M3Power was launched a year ago, Gillette has deceived consumers about the performance of this product. We're pleased that the court agreed with us and did not allow this to continue."

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About the Author
Mike Hanlon Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, Telstra.com.au (Australia's largest Telco), Seek.com.au (Australia's largest employment site), top100.com.au, hitwise.com, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks. All articles by Mike Hanlon
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