Proactiv ad banned for suggesting children with acne will be bullied

The skin care brand featured a tearful Jorgie Porter describing her spot-prone teenage years

The advert has been pulled with immediate effect / Credit: Proactiv

ProActiv has been forced to remove its anti-acne advert from children’s television channels, because of the ‘potential harm’ they may cause to adolescent consumers.

The advert featured British actress and television personality Jorgie Porter detailing her experience of suffering from acne at high school.

In the ad, she says: ”There was a time at school in the corridor once when a young lad shouted out to me ‘Oi spotty’.”

The actress is seen with tears in her eyes as she described how the incident had a significant impact on her.

Proactiv used an image of the acne ridden 16-year-old Porter to illustrate her story and aired the campaign in between children’s television programmes.

The brand's defense

The 16-year-old Porter suffering from acne / Credit: Proactiv

The actress now in her late twenties and acne free / Credit: Proactiv

But after receiving four complaints, the British advertising watchdog ASA ruled that the ad implied that children were likely to be ridiculed or bullied if they had bad skin and did not use Proactiv.

The skin care brand defended the ad saying Porter was not given a script and and was not asked to act in a particular way, or convey any particular emotion.

“The ads simply set out the personal story and experience of one woman,” the brand told the regulator.

“Her statement related to the sudden, unwanted occurrence of breakouts and did not disparage people who suffered from them (including herself) or imply that people were likely to be ridiculed if they did not use the products.”

However, the ASA upheld the complaints and banned the ad from children’s television channels and shows.