Fussy's 'Mynx' deodorant advert banned after Unilever complaint to watchdog

By Sarah Parsons | Published: 19-Jun-2024

The ASA ruled that the refillable deodorant brand's parody Instagram post discredited Lynx

An advert by refillable deodorant Fussy that was reported to Britain's advertising watching by rival Unilever has been banned. 

In the Instagram post published in December 2023, Fussy shared an image of a deodorant product called 'Mynx' with green, red and black packaging. 

The corresponding caption read “£733 million is wasted on unwanted gifts each year. So what do you think of a sustainable alternative to the UK’s top Christmas selling [sic] gift set?". 

The independent brand made a thinly veiled attempt to distance its 'Mynx' parody from Unilever-owned deodorant giant Lynx. 

"Disclaimer: Please note, this is not a real product nor is it based or associated with anything real," it stated in the same post. 

"It’s like imagining a unicorn riding a rainbow made of jelly beans – delightful, but definitely not happening."

Image via ASA

Image via ASA

Fussy's CEO and founder Matt Kennedy shared a similar post on his personal LinkedIn profile. 

A complaint had been made to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) by Unilever. 

The personal care conglomerate believed it was referenced to in the advert and challenged whether the advert defamed its products. 

Fussy argued that the Instagram post was an "editorial social media post" about a fictional product and it did not intend to allude to Lynx. 

It admitted, however, that it was unable to provide evidence to support its claim that £733m was spent on unwanted Christmas presents. 

Fussy said it would remove the social media posts. 

The ASA disagreed with Fussy and found that consumers would recognise the "almost identical" branding to Lynx. 

The watchdog added that the repeated use of the term “unwanted” in the post was pejorative which suggested Lynx was less desirable than competitors, including Fussy. 

"The word Mynx, in reference to Lynx, was a derogatory term which consumers would understand referred to a flirtatious person who enjoyed creating trouble for others," it added. 

The ASA formally banned the advert and warned Fussy that future campaigns must not discredit Lynx, or other competitors. 

"There’s a line between comparison and denigration that advertisers need to pay attention to," a spokesperson for the ASA told Cosmetics Business. 

"Our rules make it clear that advertisers can’t discredit or denigrate competitors or their products. 

"These rules are in place to ensure that businesses are able to operate on a level playing field, while making sure the public aren’t seeing misleading claims. 

"Advertisers can make comparative claims, but they need to be objective."


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