After Australia’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) upheld a complaint about a Dove Hair Care ad claiming that “90% of Kiwi women recommend” the product, Unilever Australasia was reportedly forced to pull the ad campaign from the air. The complainants sought the company’s evidence for making the claim, and the company responded by showing it had conducted a survey of 221 “New Zealand women aged between 25 and 55 with dry, damaged or split hair” and that 90.9 percent of them “either agreed or strongly agreed that they would recommend Dove Hair Care products to a friend or family member.”

According to the Complaints Board, “the likely consumer take out from the statement ‘90% of Kiwi women recommend Dove Hair Care’ would be that 90% of all New Zealand women would recommend Dove.” Thus, the board found that the ad was likely to mislead or deceive consumers and breached ethics rules requiring truthful presentation of information and a principle stating that all ads “should be prepared with a due sense of social responsibility to consumers and to society.” Unilever has reportedly indicated that it was prepared to revise the ad to say “90% of Kiwi women who tried Dove Hair Care recommend it.” See The New Zealand Herald, October 4, 2013; msn.co.nz, October 5, 2013.