Unilever has taken Bliss, the owner of MAQ dishwashing liquid, to the Advertising Regulatory Board over an advertisement claiming that MAQ is better than Sunlight liquid. The ad claims that MAQ contains more foam, more power, and cleans more dishes. Bliss had the product tested and an expert confirmed that MAQ does indeed work better than Sunlight in these categories. Unilever argues that the claim refers to Sunlight as the best-selling dishwashing liquid in South Africa. They also take issue with an actor being given a “perfect 10” score, believing it supports the claim that MAQ is the perfect dishwashing liquid. Unilever believes the claims in the ad need substantiation and are misleading. Bliss has responded by providing confidential documents to the ARB, including a report from an independent expert who confirmed MAQ’s claims. The ARB agrees that the claims are substantiated. They dismissed Unilever’s complaint about the “perfect 10” score, stating that it refers to the synchronized swimming attempts and not the product’s qualities. The matter is currently in litigation at the Constitutional Court of South Africa.
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