Online Exclusive: Marketing News

P&G PULLS CHILDREN'S BODY SPRAY ADVERTISING

Product Carries 'Keep Out of Reach of Children' Warning

By Published on .

CINCINNATI (AdAge.com) -- Procter & Gamble Co. will stop advertising its Secret Sparkle Body Spray to children under 12 following a ruling by the Children’s Advertising Review Unit that P&G's marketing program violates safety provisions of the group’s self-regulatory guidelines.
A graphic from P&G's lush Web site for Secret Sprakle Body Spray.
Related Story:
April 28, 2005
P&G MARKETS CHILDREN'S DEODORANT WITH BLOGS AND iPODS
Secret Body Spray Campaign Aimed at Young Girls

Aimed at girls
P&G launched the product –- the first mass-market body spray directed at girls -– this spring with efforts that included sampling and a now-ended co-branded sweepstakes giving away iPod Shuffles at Limited Too, a fashion chain for girls ages 7 to 14. But the body spray carries a “Keep Out of Reach of Children” warning.

TV advertising has focused mainly on teen programming, but CARU said Secret Sparkle’s print campaign also had used both teen and "tween" publications. CARU guildelines say products inappropriate for use by children should not be advertised directly to children.

A P&G spokeswoman said the company has received no reports of misuse of the product by children. The Limited Too sweepstakes, which ended May 1, required parental permission to enter, "which was why we thought we were within CARU guidelines," she said. P&G remains in talks with CARU regarding its magazine buy for the product, she said.

P&G abides by CARU decision
In a statement to CARU, P&G said it believed its promotions and advertising were in compliance with CARU rules at the time they began and that it would abide by CARU’s decision in the future.

“Girls have started using deodorant younger and younger,” said Dave Knox, assistant brand manager at P&G overseeing the body-spray launch, in an interview with AdAge.com in April. “It used to be 12 or 13 was kind of the entry point, and that’s slowly ratcheted down each year. ... If you don’t target the consumer in her formative years, you’re not going to be relevant through the rest of her life.”

Leo Burnett
Publicis Groupe’s Leo Burnett USA, Chicago, handles advertising for Secret Sparkle, and sibling Starcom Mediavest Group, New York, handles media planning and buying.

In this article:
Most Popular