Dettol advert broke rules over toilet claim

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LONDON, Oct 24 (Reuters) A television commercial for a Dettol cleaning product broke advertising rules by claiming that chopping boards harbour 50 times more bacteria than a toilet seat, a watchdog said yesterday.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said the advert for the anti-bacterial spray exaggerated the dangers posed by the bacteria on kitchen chopping boards.

''We concluded that the evidence was not robust enough to support the claim,'' the ASA said in a written ruling.

Evidence for the advertisement was based on a study of five families with young children in Hertfordshire, it added.

''Because five households in one area was a very small sample and many households did not have children under three years old, we were not convinced that the hygiene conditions of the houses in the study were representative,'' the ASA said.

It upheld three complaints about the commercial and said it should not be shown again in its current form.

The product's maker Reckitt Benckiser , based in Slough, Berkshire, said it was disappointed by the ruling.

''The advertisement in question had in fact finished its scheduled run when the adjudication was made and there are no plans to repeat broadcast in the future,'' it said.

''Reckitt Benckiser goes to great lengths to ensure that statements made in advertisements are based on fact underpinned by research or other verifiable data.

''In this case the comparison was made to highlight the very high levels of bacteria present in household chopping boards which are routinely used for a wide variety of food preparation activities.'' REUTERS YA KP0900

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