Fairy liquid DOES last twice as long - ASA rules on complaint

Nanette Newman never lied to you. Fairy Liquid really does last twice as long as its nearest rival. So claims the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) which took on a complaint that Fairy liquid ads weren't telling quite the truth.

But the ASA rather agreed with Nanette's original +50% more claim. So who's in a lather now?

No Fairy tale

Not Fairy. The complaint was made by a personal care player called McBride, which churns out cleaning products for many British supermarkets. McBride claimed that Fairy's long distance cleaning muscle was misleading.

So the ASA told Fairy maker Procter & Gamble to justify claims that their washing-up liquid lasted twice as long as "the next best-selling brand". "We sought expert advice on the robustness of the evidence provided by P&G," the ASA said.

"The expert," the ASA went on, "considered the test reflected the practices of consumers and demonstrated that Fairy lasted at least twice as long as Persil." A clean win for Fairy, then.

Truth squeezed?

However before you make a mental note to stock up with that ubiquitous green and red bottle, Which?, dethroned Fairy as queen of washing-up gunk back in 2011.

"It's dominated our tests for 20 years," Which? said at the time, "but now the unthinkable has happened. Fairy's place as the top washing-up liquid has been usurped – by a much younger and cheaper model. Is it time to clean out the Fairy?"

Very much so. Which? crowned Aldi's Magnum Premium Original as their Best Buy, which managed to clean 11,750 plates for an outlay of 50p. AOL checked with Which? and they haven't budged from their Aldi Best Buy decision since 2011.

Bubbling under

In fact, Which? thought Fairy's advertising was less than squeaky clean, even in 2011. "Fairy has been systematically reducing the size of its bottle over the last two years, from 500ml to 450ml and now 433ml. But has it reduced its price? No."

It concluded: "Fairy told us that changes in the formula have made a more concentrated liquid, allowing them to reduce the bottle's volume, but it seems like a sneaky way of raising prices."

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