Nurofen advert banned over misleading claims it can target specific pain

The Advertising Standards Authority has ruled the advert must not appear again in its current form

Siobhan Fenton
Wednesday 29 June 2016 11:37 BST
The ASA received a number of complaints after the advert was broadcast
The ASA received a number of complaints after the advert was broadcast (Rex Features)

An advert for painkiller tablets Nurofen has been banned for falsely claiming it could target specific types of pain.

The Advertising Standards Authority made the ruling following complaints about television adverts broadcast by the company in the UK. They showed a woman enjoying her day without experiencing any pain, while symbol at her back suggested that Nurofen was acting there to eliminate back pain. An accompanying voiceover said: “Just a single dose of Nurofen Joint and Back provides you with constant targeted pain relief for up to eight hours.”

Viewers complained this amounted to unfounded claims that the product could target pain specifically, rather than generally.

The advertising watchdog said: “Because the ad implied the product had a special mechanism which meant it specifically targeted back and joint pain, and was especially effective at relieving those sources of pain, when that was not the case, we concluded that it was misleading.“

Following the ruling, the company has been ordered that the ad must not appear again in its current form.

RB UK Commercial, which owns the Nurofen brand, said the advert did not state or imply specific pain could be targeted and that it was “disappointed” with the ruling. A spokesperson said: “Nurofen pain-specific products were introduced to provide easy navigation of pain-relief options for consumers experiencing a specific type of pain, particularly within the grocery environment where pharmacy support isn't available.

”Research has shown that nine in 10 people search for products to treat specific symptoms, such as joint and back pain, and seven in 10 say pain-specific packs help them decide which product is best for their needs.“

With additional reporting by PA

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