Unilever criticises Nivea Protect & Care advert

The Beiersdorf-owned brand’s advertising comes under scrutiny once again shortly after the ‘white is purity’ campaign furore

A complaint submitted by Unilever concerning a TV and YouTube ad for Nivea’s Protect & Care antiperspirant has been overruled by the UK’s advertising watchdog ASA.

Unilever lodged a complaint against rival company Beiersdorf questioning whether the ad was misleading because it implied that Nivea Protect & Care antiperspirant contained the same of similar ingredients to Nivea Crème moisturiser.

The ad features a tin of Nivea Crème rolling towards and merging with a generic aerosol can, which then adopts Nivea Protect & Care branding.

Beiersdorf responded by saying that ten of the 16 ingredients in the antiperspirant were well known for their caring or skin conditioning properties including octyldodecanol, glycerine and panthenol – all also present in Nivea Crème.

It also stated that the imagery was a “dramatisation” to emphasise the product’s properties and that it believed the average consumer would understand the metaphorical and symbolic depiction.

The ASA agreed with Beiersdorf and said it did not think consumers would be misled but “were likely to appreciate that the composition of an aerosol antiperspirant spray would differ significantly from that of a moisturising cream due to the nature of its use and application”.

As a result, the advert was allowed to continue running in its current form.

Nivea recently landed in hot water when it posted a Facebook campaign image showing the words "white is purity" overlaid on a image of a woman.